Wake up, sheeple! Bar hosts shepherd’s pie-making contest

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The pie’s the limit.

Cobble Hill’s green-fronted Irish pub Ceol — meaning “music” in Gaelic — will host the bar’s first-ever shepherd’s pie-baking competition on March 10, where contenders are welcome to get as creative as they want with the ingredients, as long as they stick to the basic blueprint for the classic meat-and-potato meal.

So long as there’s something minced beneath something creamy and potato-y, it’s in play — and whoever makes the tastiest creation gets a $100 gift certificate to Ceol.

That’s enough to buy you about 14 satisfying Guinness stouts!

“When the whole world is against you, you can sit down with a shepherd’s pie and just feel better,” said pub owner — and a judge — Loretta Heaney in her Irish brogue, who has tasted her fair share of the comfort food dish growing up in Dublin.

“It’s an old reliable — you can satisfy everybody with a shepherd’s pie.”

Competitors will serve their pies pot-luck style, cooking off-site and bringing dishes to the Smith Street bar to be heated. Organizers said pie-makers are encouraged to get creative and go for a healthy twist using sweet potatoes, spice it up a bit with chili peppers, go all vegetarian, or take the traditional route and use lamb, which is how the pie got its sheepish name.

“We are going for varieties — different people’s versions of shepherd’s pie,” said Heaney.

The only requirement to win her taste buds over, she said, is to remind her of home.

“I have to take a bite and be able to imagine myself sitting at a pub in Dublin.”

She added that half the battle to acing a shepherd’s pie dish is in the seasoning of the potatoes.

“If the potatoes are tasteless there’s just no point. You might as well give up right now.”

Fans of eating instead of making pies can rejoice as the cook-off will also double as a tasting event for attendees as there will be a “people’s choice” award where spectators get to vote for their favorite, said organizers.

Contenders can rack up points by bringing a big group of big-hearted friends that will vote in their favor.

For the boozehounds there will also be discounted $4 stouts at the event sponsored by the Brooklyn Brewery.

Shepherd’s pie cook-off at Ceol [191 Smith St. between Warren and Baltic streets in Cobble Hill, (347) 643–9911,]. March 10, 4:30 pm, Free admission for both competitors and non-competitors. To compete e-mail

Reach reporter Natalie Musumeci at or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her at
Updated 10:08 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Cranky Old Man from Bay Ridge says:
Couldn't you find an Irish writer to cover this?
March 8, 2013, 1:16 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Don't need to be Irish. The writing is fine. The pie she is holding in the pic looks a little off though.
March 8, 2013, 2:32 am
Smart guy not from Bay Ridge from Stuy Town says:
Hey Cranky.... How do you know she's not Irish ???
March 8, 2013, 6:48 am
Irish from Cobble hill says:
Pie was amazing, it was polished off within seconds of going back indoors!
March 8, 2013, 6:51 am
DJking from cobblehill says:
she's definately Irish....Stunningly beautiful with amazing red hair..The're all like that over there!
March 8, 2013, 7:22 am
BunnynSunny from The Hill says:
I know shepherd's pie, and what that lady is holding is not shepherd's pie.
March 8, 2013, 9:46 am
Confused by Jerks from Carroll Gardens says:
I know this woman and she is actually Irish.
March 8, 2013, 10:06 am

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