Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patty's Day Recipes: Mini Shepherd's Pies + Stout Cupcakes

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about leprechauns, parades and wearing green (and avoiding pinches all day if you don’t). It’s one of the most widely celebrated saint’s days in the world, and it was made an official feast day in Ireland during the early seventeenth century. Well, we don’t need an excuse to eat, but we won’t argue!

To celebrate shamrocks and St. Patrick, we whipped up classic Irish fare like mini shepherd’s pies filled with fresh lamb and hearty potatoes. We washed the pies down with an Irish-inspired dessert: Chocolate cupcakes made with stout beer and white cream cheese frosting.

Try out the two easy-to-follow recipes below. Happy St. Patty’s Day!


Mini Shepherd’s Pies by Martha Stewart
Makes 8 servings

What You’ll Need

2 pounds freshly ground lamb
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
1 to 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Coarse salt and ground pepper
10 ounces frozen peas, thawed
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter

What You’ll Do

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat a large skillet over high heat. In two batches, cook lamb until no longer pink, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a colander set in a bowl; let fat drain off and discard.

STEP 2: Add 1/4 cup water to skillet, scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium; add onion and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Add flour; cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

STEP 3: Add Worcestershire sauce, 2 cups water and lamb. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in peas; cook 1 minute. Divide among eight 8-ounce ramekins.

STEP 4: Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover potatoes with salted water by 1 inch; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

STEP 5: In pan, bring milk and butter to a simmer; remove from heat. Return potatoes; mash. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread over pies; use a fork to make peaks.

STEP 6: Bake on a baking sheet until tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly; serve.


Chocolate Stout Cupcakes by Dave Lieberman
Makes 24 cupcakes; 40 min total time

What You’ll Need

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch fine salt
1 bottle stout beer (recommended: Guinness)
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners sugar

What You’ll Do

STEP 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda and salt.

STEP 2: In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

STEP 3: Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes and then rotate the pans. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Let cool.

STEP 4: Icing: In a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.

STEP 5: Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the PR firm to share. Thanks to A Bullseye View. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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