Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Let’s talk about being green.

It’s not just Kermit the frog who enjoys the color. Green is often associated with the Irish. And March 17 is one of those days where everyone is Irish. St. Patrick’s Day is the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death.

For the Irish, this is a religious holiday celebrated for over 1,000 year. Irish families traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the evening. Lent restrictions are lifted on St. Patrick’s Day and people dance, drink and feast.

While you may indulge in a Guinness, your family should definitely celebrate this holiday with a super tasty dish, shepherd’s pie. This recipe is simple with only a few ingredients. You can always serve it with a festive kid-friendly drink by adding a few drops of green food coloring to ginger ale, apple juice, lemonade or 7-Up.

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs. ground round beef
1 onion chopped
1-2 cups vegetables – chopped carrots, corn, peas
1 1/2 – 2 lbs. potatoes (3 big ones)
8 Tbsp. butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

Instructions

  1. Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tbsp. butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.
  3. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat for about 10 minutes. If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.
  4. Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add Worcestershire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.
  5. Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.
  6. Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.
  7. Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.

And, to round out the mean, here’s an Irish blessing to share:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand.

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