Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Seriously delicious and very comforting!

IMG_20190301_162106-2x3

St. Partick’s day is just over a week away. On Wednesday I shared my St. Patty’s party fav’s and now I’m sharing the perfect meal to serve at your party! It also has Guinness in it which adds a nice festive twist! Not only is this recipe great if your hosting people for St. Patrick’s day, but it’s also amazing for dinner year round. It’s delicious, filling and comforting.

When I was a kid my mom used to make shepherd’s pie out of leftover roast beef. It’s so good that way but today I’m using ground beef since it’s easy and readily available. Did you know that technically when you use beef you’re making cottage pie. Seriously lamb is traditionally used in shepherd’s pie. It gets it’s name from the shepherd’s who tend to the sheep. But since I know it as shepherd’s pie that’s what we’re going with.

IMG_20190301_163638-2x3IMG_20190301_163619-2x3IMG_20190301_163839-2x3

The first time I made Shepherd’s pie it was a failure. It was dry and tasteless. Since then I’ve discovered a few very important secrets to making a delicious Shepherd’s pie. First things first you need to make a thick flavourful gravy. Nothing is worse than dry filling. Cook down onions, garlic and carrots to create a flavourful base. brown off your ground beef add flour to thicken and then deglaze with Guinness. Seriously this creates an insane amount of deep flavour. Then add beef broth to create a thick luscious gravy.

The other tip I have is to make a super flavourful spreadable mashed potato. You need pretty loose mashed potatoes. You want them to still be soft and smooth when you eat them. Since they have to go in the oven if you dont add enough butter and milk they will really dry out. Also adding parmesan or another cheese can’t hurt either!

This recipe is seriously delicious and a must make for St. Patrick’s day, or any day!

IMG_20190301_162110-2x3.jpg

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1.5 lbs Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Beef Bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn

Mashed Potato

  • 2 lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted

Topping

  • 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat warm oil. Add onion, cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, cook for 1 minute until starting to soften and brightening in colour. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Turn heat up to medium high and add ground beef. Break into small pieces and cook until browned.

Add flour, stir and cook for one minute to remove the raw four taste. Add tomato paste, bouillon cube, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Mix seasoning into meat until well distributed. Deglaze the pan with Guinness. Scrape brown its off the bottom of the pan until the beer cooks don and the pan becomes mostly dry again.

Add beef broth to the pan. Continue to scrape the pan to release the brown bits. Bring the mixture to a simmer, turn down the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, string occasionally. A thick gravy will develop. Taste gravy, add additional salt and pepper if desired. Stir in peas and corn. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes to defrost the vegetables.

Cool the mixture and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain potatoes. Leave in the colander to dry for 5-10 minutes. In the mean time melt the butter in the microwave and measure out the milk. Return the potatoes to the pot. Using a potato masher or a hand mixer mash the plain potatoes. Add half the butter and milk to the potatoes, mash together. Check the consistency. The potatoes should be looser then regular mashed potatoes. They should be spreadable but not runny. Continue to add milk and butter until the mashed potatoes reach the desired consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour filling into a 9×11 inch baking pan, spread evenly. Spread mashed potatoes out evenly to cover the filling. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the potatoes evenly. Spoon melted butter evenly over potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes to make serving easier. Serve with peas or a side salad.

Adapted from RecipeTin Eats.

Guinness Shepherd's Pie - St. Patrick's Day Favourite, so delicious!.jpg

Winter Grain Salad with Glory Dressing

Simple delicious whole food ingredients smothered is the best dressing ever invented.

img_20190106_125638

Happy Saturday guys! I’m popping on here today to share a staple salad and a dressing that can be used to make just about anything taste delicious! This recipe is actually adapted from a recipe my husband got from an old roommate. Many years ago my husband, then boyfriend made us glory bowls for dinner. It was one of the first dinners he ever cooked for me. At this time I was still living at home and honestly hadn’t cooked much, he was the better cook back then. I watched him prep the ingredients, cook rice, grill chicken and make the most amazing dressing. I was so impressed! Since then his recipe for glory dressing has evolved and the scrape of paper the recipe was written on is scribbled with notes and splattered with soy sauce. Isn’t that a sign of a well loved recipe? I think so.

img_20190106_125753img_20190106_125729

The best thing about the recipe I’m sharing today is how customizable it is. Today I’m sharing a simple but hardy salad full of whole grains and delicious vegetables. I’ve added grilled chicken, crispy tofu, sliced steak and soft boiled eggs to this salad to round out the meal. You can also switch up the vegetables, add cucumber and pickled red onion, or ad roasted cauliflower and sweet potatoes. The world is your oyster. This is really just a jumping off point for your own creativity!

Now the dressing, it’s made up of olive oil, tahini, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, garlic and sesame oil. I recommend making this dressing in a blender or a magic bullet. You can make it by hand, but I like the magic bullet because it emulsifies the oil and makes the dressing super creamy. Also you can skip the step of chopping garlic, because lets be honest chopping garlic is the worst!

Once the dressing is made pick your favourite grain and veggies toppings, assemble and smother with dressing. You won’t regret it!

img_20190106_125728

Winter Grain Salad with Glory Dressing

Yields: 2 cups dressing & 4 salad bowls

Salads:

  • 3 cups Brown Rice, cooked
  • 4 Cups Spring Mix
  • 2 Carrots, raw grated
  • 4 Beets, cooked sliced
  • Optional: chicken, steak, crispy tofu, soft boiled egg

Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons Tahini
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

Directions:

Add dressing ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth and emulsified.

Place a bed or rice into bowls or on plates, top with spring mix, sliced beets, grated carrots and optional protein toppings. Drizzle dressing over the salad. Serve immediately.

Dressing keeps up to week in your refrigerator.

You may also like…

Winter Grain Salad with Glory Dressing - YUM!
Winter Grain Salad with Glory Dressing - YUM!

Grapefruit and Ginger Champagne Cocktail

Hi everyone! I’m back to blogging after a little Christmas break. It was so nice to get out of the kitchen and visit with all our family for a few days. It was hectic and I’ll admit I’m still exhausted from travelling but it was well worth it. We had a really great Christmas. I hope you all did too.

Now we’re all in this awkward stage between Christmas and New Years where like isn’t totally normal yet and chocolate and sweets are a main food group. I went back to work the day after boxing day and I will admit that really messes with my post Christmas coma I typically enter into. But it’s almost the weekend and then before we know it it will be New Year’s Eve.

New Years Eve is my jam, but I’m very particular in how I spend it. I’ve been on trips to Mexico, snowboarding, parties, game night and fancy dinners. But the only way we spend our New Years now is at home. We decorate the house, dress down in brand new comfy sweats eat fabulous food and drinking the best cocktails and wines. We play games, watch movies. And our strangest but favourite tradition is eating homemade cinnamon buns and drinking champagne while watching the ball drop at midnight. Then we stay up until 2 am chatting about our hopes, dreams and goals for the next year. It is one of the best nights of the year!

In the past I’ve cooked an elaborate dinner for New Years, but this year I am working, so we are doing appetizers only. I’m planning a charcuteries platter, baked brie, various homemade dips with the best bread in town and all of the homemade puff pastry appetizers in my freezer (yum!). I will be making fresh homemade cinnamon buns for midnight so I thought that keeping it simple with our savoury options was the right choice.

I’m also saving myself time so that I can make some delicious champagne cocktails. The recipe I’m sharing today has been a staple at our New Years Eve celebration for a few years now and I just cant get enough. I think it’s great to leave cranberry and pomegranate behind after Christmas and celebrate the brighter flavours of the season like citrus. Such as grapefruit. I love the colour a ruby red grapefruit gives this cocktail and the addition of ginger ale helps to sweeten things up and give another dimension of flavour. This is perfect for a small party where you have time to make your guests drinks. It is super fun and festive for New Years. I hope you enjoy it.

Grapefruit and Ginger Champagne Cocktail

Yields: 1 cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce Vodka
  • 1 ounce Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice (blood orange is great too!)
  • 2 ounces Ginger Ale
  • Champagnes
  • Mint Leaves

Directions:

In a champagne flute combine vodka and grapefruit juice. Add ginger ale, then top with champagne. Garnish with mint leaves.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest.


Brown Butter Shortbread with Maple Glaze

Today’s post is the very last Christmas cookie recipe I will be sharing for 2018. How did this month go so fast? I cant believe Christmas is in just a few days. If you still haven’t checked out week one through three of this series click here, here and here.

Today’s recipe is a variation on shortbread cookies. I know people think they are dry and tasteless, so I’ve added brown butter and brown sugar for a deeper flavour. I also added a delicious maple glaze to make then ever more flavourful.

These cookies are great because you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry. These are also a slice and bake cookie so there isn’t any rolling and cutting out shapes to do. Slice and bake cookies are so simple to make.

So if you’re up for some more Christmas baking give these or any of the other recipes in this series a try. This is my last recipe post before Christmas, so I hope you have enjoyed all the festive holiday content over the past few months as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing it. Merry Christmas!

Brown Butter Shortbread with Maple Glaze

Yields: 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tablespoon Half and Half
  • Optional: Raw Turbinado Sugar

Directions:

Melt butter over medium heat in a light coloured skillet. Swirl the pan occasionally. Cook until butter browns and has a nutty aroma, 2-3 minutes. pour butter into a bowl and place in the fridge to solidify for about 30 minutes. The brown butter should have a similar texture to softened butter.

Whisk flour and salt together set aside.

In a stand mixer beat the cooled brown butter on high until creamy and smooth. Add white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla, cream until smooth. Add dry ingredients to the mixer and beat on low until just combined.

Form dough into two 8 inch logs. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1-2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, line baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Roll the logs of dough in turbinado sugar and slice each log into 12 equal sized pieces. Place cookies on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

In a small bowl combine confectioner sugar, maple syrup and half and half. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies. Place in the fridge to set.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

You may also like…

Sugar Cookie Snowflakes
Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Peppermint Bark

Today marks one week until Christmas….. let that sink in a moment.

Ok how are we all doing? Stressed, excited, organized, overwhelmed? Personally I’m feeling pretty good. I think I have things pretty under control. Since we travel at Christmas I’ve always had to be organized well in advance. And I think this year will be the smoothest… knock on wood. 

Today I am sharing a recipe I have made since I was a kid. I would make this with my mom and brother every Christmas as a kid and it’s still one of my favourites today. Peppermint Bark is seriously simple to make and so delicious. It looks great on a cookie tray, and it’s also a great hostess gift.

It’s so easy you can even make it in the microwave. Don’t we all need easy at the holidays? So give it a try and let me know what you think.

Peppermint Bark

Yields: 1 sheet pan

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces White Chocolate
  • 8 ounces Milk or Dark Chocolate
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Coconut Oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
  • 5 Candy Canes, crushed

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a microwave safe bowl melt 6 ounces of the milk chocolate in 30 second intervals (1-2 mins), string in between. Stir in remaining chocolate and 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil. Spread the chocolate thinly on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Repeat the same melting process with 12 ounces of the white chocolate. Stir remaining chocolate, remaining coconut oil and peppermint extract into the chocolate. Pour chocolate over the set milk chocolate and spread out to cover. Sprinkle crushed candy canes all over the white chocolate. Return bark to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Once set break bark into sizes of your choosing. Store in an air tight container in your refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also store in your freezer for a few months.

You may also like…

Sugar Cookie Snowflakes