A little extra verdant goodness makes this Irish Shepherd’s Pie distinctly its own. The beef is still savory and saucy, infused with malty, rich beer, and the mashed potatoes on top are creamy and buttery, with lots of garlic flavor and succulence. The sweet peas and fresh herbs honor the Land of a Thousand Welcomes, making Irish Shepherd’s Pie just a wonder! Dig in!


  • For the potato topping:
  • 4 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • cold water, to taste
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup beef broth, plus more, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • For the filling:
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 3/4 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 (12-ounce) bottle light or dark beer, of your choice
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Swiss or cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped


Step 1 –In a large saucepan, add the potatoes and 10 of the garlic cloves.

Step 2 –Cover the potato-garlic mixture with the cold water.

Step 3 –Place the pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil.

Step 4 –Boil the potato-garlic mixture until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 15-20 minutes.

Step 5 –Drain the potato-garlic mixture.

Step 6 –Transfer the potato-garlic mixture to a large bowl.

Step 7 –Add the sour cream, 1/4 cup of the beef broth, the butter, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper and, using an electric mixer on low speed, beat until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to overmix.

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Step 8 –If the potatoes seem too dry, add the extra beef broth, a little at a time, and mix to combine.

Step 9 –Cover the mashed potatoes and set them aside.

Step 10 –Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 11 –Grease a 10-inch round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Step 12 –In a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, while stirring occasionally, until browned and almost crisp, about 7-8 minutes.

Step 13 –Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Leave the bacon drippings in the skillet.

Step 14 –In the same skillet over medium heat, add the oil to the bacon drippings and heat.

Step 15 –Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and cook, while stirring occasionally, until very soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Step 16 –Add the sugar and cook, while stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize, about 3 minutes.

Step 17 –Increase the heat to medium-high.

Step 18 –Add the beef to the skillet and cook, while crumbling the meat, until it begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Step 19 –Add the carrots, the peas, and the remaining garlic cloves, and cook, while stirring occasionally, until the veggies begin to soften and the beef is browned, about 5 minutes.

Step 20 –Add the tomato paste and the flour and cook, while stirring constantly, until well-blended, about 2 minutes.

Step 21 –Add the beer and bring the meat mixture to a boil, about 3 minutes.

Step 22 –Reduce the heat and cook, while stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to release the brown bits, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

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Step 23 –Add the cooked bacon, the remaining 1/2 cup of the beef broth, the rosemary, the remaining salt, and the remaining pepper, and bring the meat mixture to a boil.

Step 24 –Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.

Step 25 –Spoon the meat mixture into the prepared baking dish.

Step 26 –Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat mixture.

Step 27 –Bake until the filling is hot, the topping is lightly browned, and the edges are bubbly, about 35 minutes.

Step 28 –Sprinkle the potato topping with the cheese.

Step 29 –Bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Step 30 –Let the pie rest for 10 minutes.

Step 31 –Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.