|Chef Jeff Burke|
While his backstory could pass for that of someone from South Philly, Jeff Burke, the chef for McFadden’s Ballpark, 1 Citizens Bank Way, hadn’t cooked in Philly until he landed his current gig six years ago. Growing up outside of Scranton, he learned his passion from his mother, who spent a lot of time in the kitchen preparing family meals.
“Every Sunday, my whole family got together for Sunday dinner, and you ate everything under the sun,” he said. “I didn’t know it would turn into a career, but in a strange way, it worked out, and I enjoy doing it.”
Initially he went to school for business, but switched gears graduating from Keystone College’s culinary arts program and securing his first chef position at Skytop Lodge, a Pocono Mountain resort, before heading to The Mansion on Main Street in Voorhees, N.J.
While other versions may exist that include an Irish stout, Burke’s Guinness Shepard’s Pie is unique to McFadden’s and has been a popular choice since its addition to the menu a few years ago.
“We kind of incorporated Guinness into it, which gives a nice flavor with the beef stock, meat and the cheese,” the Pine Hill, N.J. resident said. “People seem to enjoy it.”
2-1/2 pounds of ground beef
Oil, to coat pan
1 cup of carrots, diced
1/2 cup of onion, diced
1 tablespoon of garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 bottles of Guinness beer
1 cup of beef gravy
3/4 cup of peas
1-1/2 pounds of potatoes
1 cup of milk
3 ounces of butter
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Season the ground beef with the salt and pepper and brown until cooked in a large pot. Strain the fat from the cooked meat.
Add the oil, carrots, onions and garlic to another pan. Sauté for several minutes. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the cooked meat and Guinness to the vegetables.
Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by more than half. Then add the gravy and peas. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Peel the skin from the potatoes and boil the potatoes until they are soft enough for mashing. In a large mixing bowl, mash the potatoes and mix with the milk, butter, salt, pepper and scallions.
Place the meat mixture in a shallow dish and then add a layer of the potatoes. Top with the cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Serve with your choice of warm bread and butter.
Opened April 2004
1 Citizens Bank Way
Gnocchi’s Lamb Shanks
Compliments to the chef
A full plate