• My Garlic Mashed Potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil infused with garlic
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • ¾ to 1 cup half and half or heavy cream
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Filling
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chopped rosemary
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup low sodium beef broth

Yesterday we spent the warm spring-like day enjoying a St. Patty’ s Day Parade in Raleigh, NC. I love watching the Irish dancers, the men in kilts (I’m not gonna lie) and the sound of the loud drums in the band.

We ate our yummy supper which consisted of Individual Cottage Pies on our back porch and a sides of good conversation and laughter.

For over two hundred years, shepherd’s or cottage pies have been served on many a table in Ireland and England. While in England we enjoyed many dishes, including mushy peas–a traditional English side dish– and shepherd’s pie. Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with ground lamb while cottage pie is made with beef. Both are topped with creamy mashed potatoes.

Warm, savory and hearty, cottage pie was the perfect meal after a long day of parade-watching!

Shepherd’s pie is inexpensive, easy to make and delicious. Although this pie is traditionally made with lamb, here in the United States, ground beef is most commonly used. In England, folks would consider a pie made with ground beef a cottage pie.

I sometimes make this pie with ground turkey, and it is just delicious! I also find that onion gravy makes a great addition to the pie—regardless of meat choice–but it is optional. While this pie is typically made in a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or dish, but today we made ours in individual ramekins.  My garlic mashed potatoes make the most wonderful topping.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. Place the head of garlic inside a foil pouch and drizzle it with olive oil. Seal the garlic and place it in the oven to roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender and golden brown. Remove the garlic from the oven and allow it to cool. Squeeze from the head and place in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the garlic until smooth.

3. Be sure to cut your potatoes in uniformed sizes so that they cook correctly. Place the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring them to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they’re fork tender–about 12 to 15 minutes.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the potatoes. Place the potatoes back in the dry pot and return them to the heat for a minute to dry them potatoes. Remove the potatoes from the heat and add in the garlic and butter. Using a hand-held masher, mash the butter and garlic into the potatoes. Add in the milk a little at a time and stir until you get your desired texture. The potatoes should still be sort of lumpy. Season them with salt and pepper, and then set them aside while you make your cottage pie filling.

5. In a skillet, sauté your onions, carrots, celery and garlic until they’re tender. Add in your ground turkey or beef and cook it until it’s browned through. Add salt, pepper and flour. Allow the flour to cook for a minute. Now add the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Let the mixture thicken for a minute or so.

6. Place the meat mixture in your 8 buttered ramekins and, spread the mashed potatoes on top. You can use your fork to make pretty designs, which will brown up nicely in the oven. You can also place your mashed potatoes in a piping bag with your favorite tip and pipe to make it really pretty! This is a great time to get the kids in the kitchen to help!

Bake your pie in a preheated for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes have browned a bit on top. I broil my cottage pie at the last minute (just for a couple of minutes or so) to get a lovely dark brown color on top. I watch it very carefully!

Happy eating!