My Spin on a Classic

Shepherd’s Pie on St. Patrick’s Day is a must for many lovers of the clover. I wanted to do something a little more enticing, but without letting go of the classic taste of this dish. I have succeeded in this easy to do, beautifully presented dish. I always keep 4-6 cleaned tuna cans handy to use as mold for desserts and upscale preparations. Although really upscale, using the cans in this presentation does make it more visually appealing and it shows your friends and family you enjoy your time in the kitchen.

Individual Cottage Pies with Glazed Mushrooms
Mushrooms aren’t frequently seen with Cottage Pies(or Shepherd’s Pie) but adding this earthy element, touched with a bit of New England sweetness sets the tone for a mouthful of cheer. So raise your glass in high salute to Ireland with this pleasing Irish comfort food.
Serves 4

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons Irish butter
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 carrot, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1 1/2 pounds hamburger
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder mixed together in small bowl

Peel and cook the potatoes in water over high heat until done, about 10 minutes:remove and drain. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Mash until smooth; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan. Add the onion, carrot and garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes until crisp tender. Stir hamburger into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned, breaking up any lumps. Stir in the tomato purée and cook gently for another 2-3 minutes or until burger is completely done. Season to taste and keep warm or reheat as needed.
To serve, spoon the minced beef mixture into 3-inch ring mold or simple use 4 empty, cleaned tuna cans, set on warmed plates. Spread over the mashed potatoes, gently fluffing the top with a fork. Carefully remove the molds or cans and surround with glazed mushrooms. Sprinkle the mixed spices over the top and serve.

Glazed Mushrooms

8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons chili sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup

Heat butter and Worcestershire in medium nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until they just start to darken, about 3 minutes. Add chili sauce and maple syrup and stir to combine well. Simmer for 3 minutes longer and remove from heat to serve.