This food blogger with Irish roots had to jump in to share a March #WeekdaySupper recipe fit for St. Patrick’s Day! I wanted to do something a little different, but of course it still needed to start with potatoes. My tastes have certainly expanded a lot from the meat and potatoes I grew up with, but I still love those mashed potatoes. So I’m happy to share this tasty new Irish Cheddar Potatoes with Lamb and Parsley Pesto recipe.
I had Shepherds Pie ingredients in mind as I started to concoct this recipe, but then was looking to add some more green for the presentation. So I tossed a handful of baby spinach in with the potatoes, and whipped up a quick parsley pesto. In keeping with the quick weekday supper concept, you can toss the parsley into the food processor stems and all. The pesto adds a nice lively flavor to the lamb, rounded out nicely with the cheddar cheese.
One tip on this dish: the ground lamb will create quite a bit more fatty juices than ground beef, so be sure to strain it well with a slotted spoon before serving it over the potatoes.
Irish food doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, but the last time I was over in Ireland, I really saw improvements as more and more places found good ways to feature the abundant fresh produce, fish, meat and dairy. So I was eager to feature some good quality Irish cheddar cheese in this, adding a nice richness to the potatoes. You can use your favorite cheddar here, but I do encourage you to try some from Ireland around St. Patrick’s Day if you get a chance.
To give you a quick overview of the method for this dish: start the water boiling as you prep the potatoes. Leaving some of the skins is nice for texture and presentation. Whip up the parsley pesto as the potatoes start cooking, then cook your lamb. Serve the lamb over the Irish cheddar mashed potatoes, topped by the parsley pesto, then a bit more of that cheddar. Enjoy with a nice stout, or as we did, with a glass of Shiraz. Sláinte!
- 8 medium red potatoes
- ¾ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 ¼ lb ground lamb
- 3 cloves garlic
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 1 tbsp extra olive oil
- 1 cup parsley (just rinse it, no need to chop)
- salt to taste
- handful baby spinach
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. Rinse the potatoes. Peel half of them, scrub the skins of the the other four potatoes. Chop into 4 of 5 chunks per potato.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the chopped potatoes to the water. Boil for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
- As the potatoes boil, make a quick parsley pesto by adding the garlic, ½ cup olive oil and parsley to a food processor, pulse to combine.
- Next, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. When heat, add the lamb, salt to taste and gradually break the lamb up with a sturdy slotted spoon, stirring occasionally. The lamb will take approximately 10 minutes to cook through.
- The potato should be finished cooking as the lamb finishes. Drain the potatoes, and mash the potatoes with the milk and butter. Adjust the butter and milk quantities as needed to get the potatoes to the consistency you like them. When they are mashed nicely, stir in ½ cup of the cheese and salt to taste.
- Plate a scoop of the mashed potatoes. Use the slotted spoon to scoop out some cooked lamb from the skillet, letting the excess fat drain through the spoon before serving the lamb over the potatoes. Top the lamb with a tablespoon of parsley pesto, then sprinkle some of the extra cheddar over the top. Sláinte!
Want more #Weekday Supper recipes? Check out these other great recipes from my fellow bloggers for this week!
Monday – Chicken Florentine by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Tuesday – Lime Roasted Root Vegetable Quesadillas with Goat Cheese by Dandelion Greens
Wednesday – Irish Cheddar Potatoes with Lamb and Parsley Pesto by Cooking Chat
Thursday – Broccoli Steaks and Tofu Fries by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
Friday – Stovetop Spinach Macaroni and Cheese by Alida’s Kitchen