This St. Patrick’s Day-after dinner is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
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Corned Beef
Credit: Getty / Basya555

St. Patrick's Day is upon us, and that means a lot of us are gearing up for a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner. And for many, leftovers from that feast mean a hearty breakfast of corned beef hash made with the extra meat and potatoes.

There is nothing wrong with putting an egg on it to get a bonus meal out of this bounty. But what if you want to extend that supper into a second evening meal instead? Sure, you can just reheat the extras for a redo, but I prefer to go all-in on a casserole approach. And the genius pivot is an Irish riff on a shepherd's pie. After all, you already have meat, veg and potatoes, so this becomes mostly about assembly and adding flavor!

How to make Irish Shepherd's Pie

For starters, prep your leftovers. Chop or shred your corned beef into bite-sized pieces and put into a bowl. If you have leftover jus or cooking liquid, add enough that the meat is juicy, but not soupy. If you do not have leftover cooking liquid, use chicken stock. You want your meat to squish a bit when you stir it, but not swim in stock. Add a small dollop of Dijon mustard and stir it together, just to bring some bite to the party. Set aside. 

Chop your cabbage finely and set aside. If you had other vegetables in your dish like carrots or onion, chop those as well.

Mash your potatoes (or make more potatoes if you don't have enough leftovers) with butter and sour cream, a splash of milk or cream, and season well with salt and black pepper. Any mashed potato style you like will work here, from smooth puree to chunky hand mashed. You just want spreadable spuds to cover the casserole. Using store-bought if you do not have homemade is totally fine here.

Next comes something fresh and something oniony. Parsley is always perfect in this, as is a leek, a bunch of scallions, a couple shallots or a bunch of chives. If you did not have onion in your braised vegetables, an onion will work fine. Chop the parsley finely and slice your allium thinly or mince it fine.

Finally, if you have a bag of frozen peas, those add wonderful pops of color and flavor.

Heat your oven to 350° and lightly grease the casserole dish of your choosing. If you have a small amount of leftovers, you might only need an oval gratin dish or a square glass dish. If you have a lot of leftovers a traditional 9x13 casserole pan will work well.

Put your corned beef and stock in the bottom of the dish and spread out evenly. Top with the chopped vegetables. Sprinkle over the frozen peas, if you are using them, followed by the herb/onion mix. Finally, carefully smooth over a lid of mashed potatoes to seal everything in. Dot the top of the potatoes with small bits of butter and bake for 45-55 minutes until everything is hot and bubbling and the potatoes have gotten a little golden on top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. All you need is a salad and some crusty soda bread and you have a second St. Patrick's dinner that is just as delicious as the first!