04 March 2013

Today is reveal day for The Secret Recipe Club. The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time.  It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes.  It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned Paulchen's Food Blog, written by Astrid.  Astrid is an avid reader, cookbook collector, and cat lover in Vienna.  Her blog is an eclectic collection of recipes.  I found several that sounded really good.  I'm still fully in soup-obsessed mode, so her Broccoli and Cream Carrot Soup really caught my eye.  (I love how it uses coconut milk instead of heavy cream; definitely trying that one soon!)  I am also very intrigued by her Chicken Tagine with Honey, Pears & Cinnamon.  She also has some great desserts over there.  The Chocolate Banana Decadence Cake she made for her brother looks amazing.  But as soon as I saw a category called "Irish" I knew which direction I was heading!  I love cooking according to the seasons and holidays and I have definitely been thinking about St. Patrick's Day lately.  So I jumped at the chance to try Astrid's Irish Cottage Pie.  It did not disappoint!  

Irish Cottage Pie

1 tsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
2½ lbs. potatoes
2 tbsp flour
¾ cup stout beer
1¼ cups beef stock
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup matchstick carrots
¼ tsp dried thyme
Milk and butter

Sauté onion in olive oil until tender.  Add ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain off any grease. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.  Add beer and beef stock and bring to a boil.. When it starts to thicken, reduce heat.  Add peas, carrots, and thyme and cook 10 to 15 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

Meanwhile, peel, chop and boil the potatoes for 20 minutes or until soft.  Drain the potatoes very well until completely dry. Mash until smooth and free of any lumps.  Add butter to the mashed potato, taste and adjust the seasoning.  Add enough milk to make the mash very soft (heavy mash will not float properly on top of the ground beef mixture).

Pour beef mixture into a 9x9” casserole dish.  Spread the potatoes on top of the meat and brush the tops of the potatoes with melted butter.  Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Makes 4-6 servings.

I didn't change very much about Astrid's recipe.  I think I used more beef, just because I like using a nice even pound.  Makes it easy.  I also replaced some of the beef stock with stout beer just to make it a little more interesting.  The beer taste wasn't overwhelming at all, just gave it a nice depth of flavor.

This was so good!  It really hit the spot on a cold winter day.  My five year old at all of hers without complaint (well, except for the onions, but she ate them anyway).  

The beef mixture.  Yum.

 Comfort food at its best!

 Thanks so much for a great recipe, Astrid!

Tagged: , , , ,


  1. This looks so tasty! Shepherd's Pie is my sister's favorite food, so I'll have to try this for her sometime! :)

  2. This looks soooo yummy, especially on a chilly day like I have here in Philly right now! Thanks for sharing! Stopping by from www.itsgoodtobethecook.com for the SRC March Reveal. Can't wait to read more from your blog!

  3. Looks delicious! We're supposed to have some ugly weather this week so I may need to change my plan from burgers to this!

  4. It's cold outside, so a big plate of this pie would totally hit the spot right about now. Great pick!

  5. Every month you put forward a delicious SRC recipe and this month is no exception, your Cottage Pie looks homey delicious!

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my SRC entry Loaded Potato Soup.


  6. What a great pick Lesa! I make a similar dish around St. Paddy's day each year. Looks great!

  7. My hubby will love this recipe - which is perfect since I'm out of town this weekend :-)

  8. Hi Lesa,

    Your Irish Cottage Pie looks delicious and just in time for St. Patrick's Day. Thanks for sharing and have a good week.
    Visiting from Group B SRC
    Miz Helen

  9. Oh, yum! Definitely comfort food.

  10. Yummy! This looks like ultimate comfort food!

  11. My husband would absolutely love this! Great pick :-)

  12. This like a great alternative to corned beef and cabbage for St Pattys. I love that it isn't in a 9 by 13 because we usually get tired of leftovers after a few days

  13. Mmmmmm....March always says Cottage Pie! This looks so comforting. I am from Group B and just stopping by for a quick look! Great SRC share.

  14. sarah k @ thepajamachef.comMarch 5, 2013 at 3:42 PM

    my husband would love something like this! sounds great. nice SRC choice :)

  15. what a great St Pattys Day Recipe! yay for src :)

  16. Lesa - this is so fun! I was thinking of making something like this for St. Patrick's Day this year - thanks for the great recipe!

  17. I need to put this on my menu soon - Grumpy would love it! The soup really has me interested to and I'm off to check it out.

  18. Comfort food at its best is right! This looks delicious and warming. Nice pick for the SRC.

  19. Oh this looks so good, even if different from my parts where it is strictly meat, corn, and potatoes. Cool too my dad is from Vienna.

  20. I love cooking to the holidays too. Last year, I made a Shepherd's Pie, and I really enjoyed it. This year, I might just make this Cottage Pie. Looks delicious.

  21. This looks fantastic Lesa! Great pick this month!

  22. Mmm, we love shepherd's pie, which this is similar to. Might have to make that for dinner tonight.