Guinness Shepherd's Pie - savory beef filling infused with Guinness beer and topped with Irish cheddar mashed potatoes. The perfect comfort food for the meat and potato lover in your life.
St. Patrick's Day Comfort food
Shepherd's Pie is a comfort food win every time, and this version will not disappoint. With some Irish inspiration, this dish is perfect for St. Patrick's Day. I infused the meat filling with Guinness beer and added lots of Irish cheddar cheese to the mashed potatoes. My Irish, meat and potato-loving husband totally approves of this recipe. This hearty dish will satisfy your comfort food cravings any day of the year.
Ingredients in Shepherd's Pie
There are many variations of Shepherd's Pie, but the traditional ingredients include red meat cooked with onions in gravy, and topped with mashed potatoes. Sometimes a layer of vegetables, like peas and carrots, is included.
I'm keeping it pretty traditional but with the addition of some Irish-inspired flavors.
- meat - I used a blend of ground beef, pork, and veal (also known as meatloaf mix). I love the flavor combination. My supermarket sells this meatloaf mix combo in one-pound packages. If you have trouble finding this mixture, you can purchase the ground beef, pork, and veal separately. Or, you can ask your butcher to grind the meats together for you. If you prefer to omit the veal, use all beef or a combo of beef and pork.
- onions - lots and lots of onions! Nothing is better than the aroma of meat and onions simmering together.
- sauce/gravy - I made a gravy of Guinness beer, tomato paste, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar. The beer adds depth of flavor and earthiness. The brown sugar balances the acidity of the beer.
- mashed potatoes - I folded in lots of Irish cheddar cheese into the mashed potatoes, which also have cream cheese for the silkiest texture.
- vegetables (optional) - Feel free to add a layer of vegetables like corn or peas and carrots. I really like the simplicity of the meat and onion mixture in this dish.
- oven-safe skillet - This dish is finished in the oven, so it's best to use a large, deep oven-safe skillet. Because I like to serve this in a cast-iron skillet for a rustic presentation, I transferred the meat mixture to the cast-iron after simmering it in a covered heavy-bottomed pan.
How to Serve
Serve this shepherd's pie family-style in a large skillet or in individual ramekins. Leftovers reheat very well in a 350-degree oven. Reheat individual portions in the microwave.
Guinness Shepherd's Pie is so flavorful, so comforting, and will make the meat and potato lover in your life very happy!
More skillet recipes to try
- Ground Turkey Enchiladas
- Skillet Sausage and Shells
- Chicken with Kale and Artichokes (30 Minute Recipe)
- Roasted Potato Hash with Chorizo and Eggs
- Chicken with Cordon Bleu Sauce
Guinness Shepherd's Pie
- ⅔ pound ground beef
- ⅔ pound ground pork
- ⅔ pound ground veal
- 2 large yellow onions (diced)
- 12 ounces Guinness beer
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ pounds russet potatoes
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces Irish cheddar cheese (shredded)
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed oven-safe pan or large skillet set over medium heat, add the beef, pork, veal, and diced onions. Cook until meat is cooked completely, crumbling the meat as it cooks. Drain the excess grease.
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the beer, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, thyme, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for one hour.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into one-inch cubes. Add to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are fork-tender, approx. 15 minutes. Drain.
- While the potatoes cook, add the butter and cream to a small saucepan and warm gently until butter is melted.
- After draining the potatoes, add the cream cheese to the hot pot. Using a potato ricer, rice the potatoes, adding them back into the same pot. (The hot potatoes will melt the cream cheese.)
- Pour in the warm cream mixture and stir to incorporate with the riced potatoes. Fold in the shredded cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- If necessary, transfer the meat mixture to an oven-safe skillet.
- Top the meat mixture with the mashed potatoes, spreading into an even layer. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Turn the oven to broil. Remove the foil and broil for 3-4 minutes until golden on top.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
Nutritional information is an estimate and will vary depending upon the exact amounts and specific ingredients used.