March 11, 2009

Perfect St. Patrick's Day Appetizer

We are having a few friends over this weekend for a pre-St. Pattie's Day/board game night. I'm cooking up a bunch of Irish or green food and everyone else is required to bring a board game. There will be tons of food, Guinness and green punch. All that coupled with some corny games (and maybe a few Rock Band sessions) should make for quite the evening!

I'm hoping to do most of the cooking before anyone gets here, so that way I can enjoy the party as well. I decided to make these cute little shepard's pies before hand, refrigerate or freeze them, then throw them in the oven right before people get here. Since I hadn't made these before, Brad and I gave them a test run the other night, and they turned out fantastic! Really flavorful, and actually pretty easy to eat with your hands, which is a big sticking point I have for finger food.

These all start with canned biscuits, which you shape into muffin tins and partially bake, forming little biscuit cups. You then fill them with mashed potatoes and a delicious meat and veggie mixture, and top the whole thing off with cheddar cheese. They bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Since there are a few steps and these would certainly need to be made before guests arrive, I'm quite happy to say that they are just as yummy after being in the fridge then heated in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 350℉. I also made bite-sized versions, using half a biscuit and a mini-muffin tin.

I could not think of a more perfect appetizer for a St. Patrick's Day celebration! Stay tuned for other Irish goodies coming later this week!

Mini Shepard's Pies
Slightly Adapted from Big Daddy's House - Aaron McCargo, Jr.

cooking spray
12 canned biscuits (I used Grands Homestyle)
1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons AP flour
1/2 cup beef stock
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1/2 cup leftover mashed potatoes (I used the frozen version and just heated them up)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
  • Using your hands or a rolling pin, gently increase the circle size of each biscuit.
  • Mold the biscuit into a cup shape inside each muffin tin.
  • Partially bake biscuits for 6-8 minutes, then set aside.
  • Brown beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add onions, salt, pepper and garlic, and cook for a few minutes, letting the onions soften.
  • Stir flower into meat until a pastey consistency.
  • Add beef stock and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add vegetables and herbs and cook just until veggies have been warmed.
  • Meanwhile, reheat potatoes in microwave for 5-6 minutes, or until warm, then stir in garlic and onion powder.
  •  Spoon equal amounts of potatoes into the biscuit cups (it will look like it's filled to the top).
  • Top with beef mixture and push down with the back of a spoon or hands.
  • Top with mounds of cheese.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned.
  • Let cool for a few minutes, then gently remove each cup, using a knife if necessary.


Kendra said...

What a novel idea! Looks great!

Anonymous said...

I love these mini shepard's pies! What a neat idea! Perfect recipe for me to use up some of that Kerrygold cheddar :)

Jennifer said...

I LOVE Sheperds pie!! What a fantastic creation!!!

Maria said...

I love the minis!

Mycookingtime said...

Great idea!, looks delicious!

sugarlens said...

Very creative! My husband would love something like this - he has a thing for shepard's pie. He orders it everytime we go to Cheesecake Factory, and I don't think theirs is even that good!

I tried making it once, it turned out okay. I think these miniature ones will be super fun to eat.

Can't wait to see your other St Patty's dishes!

Donna-FFW said...

These look absolutely gorgeous! What an ultra fantastic idea. LOVE it!!

Junglefrog said...

What a great idea to make mini shepherd pies!! I just had a larger version the week before, but these are actually nicer I think.

Culinarywannabe said...

Hi Kendra - So cute right?!

Hi 5 Star Foodie - Definitely! And actually the little cheese crisps that form on the muffin tin were my favorite part. :)

Hi Jennifer - Thanks!

Hi Maria - I'm a sucker for anything mini.

Hi Mycookingtime - Thank you!

Hi Sugarlens - These weren't hard at all. And my hubby loved them, so I'm sure yours would too.

Hi Donna- Thanks!!

Hi Junglefrog - We like the minis because that way you got more "crust" with each bite.

Anonymous said...

oooooooooh i agree! these are the perfect appetizer! yumm

noble pig said...

How adorable these are! Don't forget to dye the toilet water green for the par-tee!

foodbin said...

sure looks tasty

Sara said...

I just made shepherd's pie for dinner, what a great idea to make mini ones!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Shepherd's Pie... I could eat that often, and never get tired of it. What a clever idea. Tell you what-- when we have our bi-coastal potluck, I'll make you German food and these will be the appetizers...along with your adorable cupcakes.


Emily said...

You're right! That is the perfect appetizer for St. Paddy's day. Yum! I'd have trouble not eating them all.

So... rock band, huh? I challenge to some rock band sometime. I'm very good on guitar, playing "Roxanne."

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

I really like these. What a great find. I'm sure they will be a party stopper.

Olga said...

What a great idea. I always think mini things are better and cuter for parties.

Talita said...

Great! These look so tasteful!

Cate said...

Love the mini pies - too cute!

Chef Chuck said...

Yumm, I like the small size, looks delish!!

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

I love this! I can totally imagine making it vegetarian and serving it at our next get together.

Hope you have a fun party!

Kevin said...

Those mini shepherds pies look so good! Great idea!

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