How I Met My Dinner: Irish Pubs

Mar 14, 2015 | 2015 Articles, Alicia Lieu, How I Met My Dinner

by Alicia Lieu

Recipe for Shepherd’s Pie at the end of this post.

It wasn’t until I read the headline about a beloved bar in Washington Heights closing, that I stopped to think about just how many Irish Pubs there are in the

Even though Washington Heights was once a Gaelic stronghold, the neighborhood does not reflect that history today. There are still plenty of Irish Pubs around, however, and I’ve noticed that they are all over the city but there is a high concentration of them in midtown. There is also still an Irish enclave in Woodside, Queens. And one of the pubs, Donovan’s, was voted to have the best hamburger in the city.

The Playwright in midtown definitely speaks to the right demographic. Sports lovers as well as people who write plays, and there are a lot of those in New York City. On the Upper West Side, my go-to Irish pub is Malachy’s.

We have had quite a few going away parties for co-workers there. We once had a composer’s celebration and meeting at O’Reilly’s in midtown on 35th street. I was too busy eating to really focus on the meeting agenda.

Mc Gee’s is a really great place. It’s on 55th Street and it is the bar that was used as a model for the bar in the TV show, How I Met Your Mother, which is this column’s namesake.

I am truly glad that my best friend from high school has her birthday on St. Patrick’s Day. It makes it really easy to remember, although not as easy as my friend who has her birthday on July 4. I wish you a happy St. Patty’s Day. St. Patrick’s Day is coming up. Don’t get drunk too early and don’t forget to laugh lots. I leave you with one of the brilliant moments and pearls of wisdom I picked up from How I Met Your Mother and managed to pass them on to a friend who was feeling down about his breakup:

Ted: Everyone has an opinion on how long it takes to recover from a breakup.
Lily: Half the length of the relationship.
Marshall: One week for every month you were together.
Robin: Exactly 10,000 drinks, however long that takes.
Barney: You can’t measure something like this in time; there’s a series of steps—from her bed to the front door. Bam! Out of there. Neeeeext!

Recipe- I just had a conversation with someone about Shepherd’s Pie. I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards.

Shepherd’s Pie

2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
1 3/4 pounds ground beef
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup beef stock
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup peas
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Olive Oil
Salt and pepper

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl with sour cream, egg yolk and cream and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.Shepherds pie

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil to hot pan and sauté the beef, salt and pepper to taste. Add the carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

In a second small skillet over medium heat cook butter and flour together for two minutes. Whisk in beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Add gravy to meat and vegetables. Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. In a casserole dish, spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil until potatoes are evenly browned. Top the Shepherd’s Pie with parsley and serve.

Check back every month for Alicia’s next food column & check out past columns in our Food section. You can follow Alicia on Twitter @AliciaJLieu.

Alicia Lieu grew up in Cupertino, California. She has Master’s Degree in Music Composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Art from UC Santa Barbara. A New Yorker with the heart of a Californian, she currently resides in Queens, NY and blogs about food in Jackson Heights.


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