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Irish Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Potato Skins

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For the Potatoes:

4 large potatoes (mine were about 6” x 3”!)

4-6 Tbsp Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice. Some suggestions: Flying Olive Garlic, Gremolata, Butter, Mushroom and Sage, Tuscan Herb, Herbs de Provence, a Combination, or a mild-medium Single Varietal of Choice. (We like 2 Tbsp of Butter and 2 Tbsp of Gremolata, but the choice is yours)

Salt and pepper

About 5-6 green onions (scallions) chopped, root end removed, white and light green parts only

2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley

For the Filling:

8 oz ground beef

1 Tbsp Flying Olive Garlic, Gremolata, or a Single Varietal of Choice

½ large onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ cup frozen vegetables (carrots, peas, corn) or fresh

1 cup beef stock

2 Tbsp flour

½ cup water

½ tsp salt

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp oregano

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

Prick the potatoes with a fork several times. Place them in the microwave and heat on high for 5 minutes (or 40-60 minutes in the oven). Carefully (they’re hot!), turn them over and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove them from the microwave when done. My potatoes were huge and took about 20 minutes in my microwave. Remove and cool while working on making the filling.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet. Add the Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil of Choice and add the onion and garlic when the oil begins to shimmer. Cook for about 2 minutes until softened.

Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat , until nicely browned and cooked, about 3 minutes.

Add the beef broth. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir everything together. Bring to a simmer and continue to stir until the sauce is thick and glossy, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice off the tops (along the long side) and carefully scoop out the potato using a spoon. Leave a fairly thin skin. I find holding the cooled potato in one hand while scooping and scraping out the potato with the other works best. Place the scooped out potato in a bowl. Place the skins on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Mash the potatoes and beat in the olive oil. Add the salt and pepper to taste and a little warm water--enough to make a soft, slightly moist texture. Then stir in the green onions and parsley. The potatoes will have a slightly green cast to them, perfect for an Irish recipe!

Fill each potato with the meat filling. If you have enough, heap the filling up slightly. Pack it down well but be careful not to break the potato skin. Either scoop up the mashed potatoes and place on top of the filling, fluffing them up a bit OR place in a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes over the filled potatoes.

Place the stuffed potato skins in the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on how large your potatoes are. They should start to brown on the top ridges.

Serve immediately or freeze AFTER you have baked them. If you want, add a little cheese of your choice.

Inspired by a recipe in RecipeTinEats,com

Submitted by Barb L.