Are you a Shepherd or a Cottager?
Shepherds eat lamb and cottagers eat beef. Well, at least those are the kinds of pies named after them. We make this recipe with either lamb or beef, depending on what’s on hand. The votes are split 50/50 as to which is best. I am a beef kind of girl (which is funny for a ‘sheep farmer’). Liam loves anything made with lamb. (Thus, the sheep on the farm.)
We had shepherd’s pie at a fantastic little pub in Ardmore, County Waterford. Ardmore is a small town, but it has some breathtaking historical sites and the beach is a great sight itself! In case you are wondering, yes I do tend to travel meal to meal. I am one of those people who posts outstanding vacation meals on Facebook, and describes amazing towns as “the place we had the world’s best seafood chowder”!
I’ve collected recipes from every trip we’ve taken. I got a terrific molé negro recipe from a tiny Zapoteca grandmother, who didn’t quite reach my chin, in Oaxaca, Mexico. The most amazing scone recipe came from the best (Grandparent run) B & B in County Clare, Ireland. This meat pie recipe is an amalgamation of recipes I picked up in different locations around Ireland. However, there’s some weird connection in my brain that links Shepherd’s pie with Ardmore. So, today I thought I would share the recipe and a few glimpses of Ardmore, County Waterford.
I hope you’ll give the recipe a try! The root vegetables give a slight sweetness that balances the savory nicely. The thick rich filling is complemented by the fluffy mashed potatoes. All in all, I think it’s a lovely dish!
NOTE: St. Declan was an early Irish saint. He died somewhere around the fifth century and is thought to have preceded St. Patrick. So, perhaps, we should be making great Irish food for St. Declan’s Day. I cannot remember where I heard it, so if someone knows, please let me know and I’d love to give credit. But, I love the quip, “St. Declan got to Ireland first, but Patrick had a better press agent!”