Karen’s Killer Fixins with A DEATHLY IRISH SECRET, A Blanche Murninghan Mystery by Nancy Nau Sullivan #Recipe ~ Shepherd’s Pie

Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **AUTHOR SPECIAL** with NANCY NAU SULLIVAN!

Welcome to my Friday bonus feature called Karen’s Killer Fixin’s **Author Special**!! Today, in lieu of one of my own recipes, I’m going to introduce you to a new author who will share one of her favorite recipes. Not only will you and I occasionally learn how to make something new and delicious, but we’ll get a chance to check out some wonderful authors. Introducing author, NANCY NAU SULLIVAN, and her favorite recipe for SHEPHERD’S PIE!


A Blanche Murninghan Mystery


When Blanche Murninghan inherits one-sixteenth of an Irish castle, she grabs sister-cousin Haasi Hakla, and they take off from their Florida island for the auld sod. But Blanche soon finds herself mired in a royal mess.

A murder victim turns up in the kitchen of Dunfaedan castle the day after their arrival, and it turns out,  Blanche’s fingerprints are all over the knife. There’s a perfectly good reason for this—Blanche always manages to dig up one of those. But now she must dig even deeper to avoid a stay in the Dublin pen.

The sinister situation worsens when Blanche learns her long-lost relative William McLoughlin—the latest owner of the castle—may have met with foul play. Blanche follows the clues. On hand to help—and sometimes hinder—are her new-found cousin Frances McLoughlin, the staff at the castle, and the lively townspeople of Ballycill.

Blanche and Haasi get bogged down, literally, and Blanche knows she must clear her name before the secrets of Ballycill swallow her whole. 


A Blanche Murninghan Mystery

Praties and Irish Bits
by Nancy Nau Sullivan

My mother loved an Irish pub for the people, the atmosphere, and the drink. She’d say the food came out of the kitchen so piping hot, the burn took away most of the taste! But, all in all, it was “fresh, hot, and delicious.” She’d also say she never met a potato she didn’t like.

Irish food is famously synonymous with potatoes, or “praties”—prepared as chips and crisps, steamed, boiled, baked, or fried—and totally recovered from the disastrous plague of the 1840s. Mashed potatoes are a popular side with bangers (sausages) or as a topping on shepherd’s pie. All of it best served, like mama says, nice and hot, while sitting next to the low embers of a cozy peat fire on the hearth. Yum.

Much of the food in pubs and B&Bs and restaurants in Ireland comes from local farms. We had so many choices, and some of the most memorable…

Breakfast! Though the custom seemed to be waning a bit, most B&Bs served the full complement of brown and white breads, butter and jam, fresh eggs and butter, rashers of bacon and sausage. It was so filling, we skipped lunch and got on with touring the countryside.

My nephew Matt’s pub favorite was a cheese and onion sandwich – served with a Paddy (whiskey), neat, and a Harp (draft). It was a staple at snack time (read tea time) or for a light lunch. The recipe couldn’t be simpler—butter on white bread, crusts removed, and slices of mild or sharp cheese with thin slices of onion. The blend of taste and textures was a pungent treat, especially with that wonderful beer.

The piece de resistance in Ireland was fresh fish. The King Sitric restaurant north of Dublin served up some of the best in the world: for example, one particularly gorgeous Wild Irish White Fish with sprinkles of green on top (chopped shamrocks?). My grandmother told me the Irish used to throw the lobsters to the pigs. At King Sitric, local fishermen provided the restaurant with lobster at whopping market prices.

At Glin castle—my base of operations for Blanche Murninghan’s latest cozy mystery, A Deathly Irish Secret—Una baked salmon, fresh from the Shannon, and served it with home-made mayo. Truly memorable, along with all the produce from the castle garden.

My family loved the Irish food at the pub and at the castle. An unofficial survey named shepherd’s pie as one of their favorites (see my recipe below). If you get the chance—go to Ireland. You’ll love it, for the praties and beer, and everything else, or take a trip with Blanche in A Deathly Irish Secret. Or do both! Sláinte! To your health.

About Author Nancy Nau Sullivan…

Nancy Nau Sullivan’s fourth book in the Blanche Murninghan mystery series launched in July. Nancy is a journalist, traveler, and teacher. Her award-winning memoir, THE LAST CADILLAC, set on Anna Maria Island, is also the setting for her first mystery, SAVING TUNA STREET. It was nominated for best INDIES mystery, 2020, at Foreword Reviews. Nancy is also the author of THE BOYS OF ALPHA BLOCK, a novel based on her years of teaching at a boys’ prison. She lives in Northwest Indiana. Find her at http://www.nancynausullivan.com, @NauSullivan, and Facebook.


Links to Nancy’s website, blog, books, #ad, etc.:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3FLHcPp

Website: www.nancynausullivan.com


I hope you enjoy the recipe Nancy is sharing today on Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. Happy Eating!


P.S. We’re at 663 recipes and counting with this posting. Hope you find some recipes you like. If this is your first visit, please check out past blogs for more Killer Fixin’s. In the right-hand column menu,  you can even look up past recipes by type. i.e. Desserts, Breads, Beef, Chicken, Soups, Author Specials, etc.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: If an author’s favorite recipe isn’t their own creation and came from an online site, you will now find the entire recipe through the link to that site as a personal recommendation. Thank you.



Topper-Prepared mashed potatoes (about 2 lbs potatoes)


1 lb. lean ground lamb (or ground beef)
1 tb. butter
1 med. onion, chopped
3-4 med. carrots, chopped thin
2 tb. flour (or cornstarch)
2 tb. tomato paste
½ tsp. dried thyme
Pinch of cinnamon
½ to ¾ tsp. salt
½ to ¾ tsp pepper
2 cups beef broth
10 oz. frozen peas

Prepare mashed potatoes (with 2 lbs. potatoes) and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 12-inch oven-safe skillet (cast iron is ideal) and cook meat. Drain off fat. Add butter, onion, and carrots. Cook and stir for a few minutes until onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften. Add flour, tomato paste, thyme, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir to heat through. Add beef broth; stir until gravy begins to thicken. Add peas. Stir until bubbling. Remove skillet from heat and cover meat mixture with a layer of the mashed potatoes (thin a bit with cream, if necessary). Bake for 30 minutes. Serve with sprinkle of chopped parsley. Approximately six to eight servings.


Special Giveaway: Nancy will give away an ebook copy of A DEATHLY IRISH SECRET to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Fixin’s blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Nancy, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!

17 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Fixins with A DEATHLY IRISH SECRET, A Blanche Murninghan Mystery by Nancy Nau Sullivan #Recipe ~ Shepherd’s Pie”

  1. Nice to meet you, Nancy.
    My late little sister, Nancy, loved Ireland, as did my family… In fact, we have many cousins there.

    Thanks for the recipe and history….

    Thanks, Karen and Nancy….


    1. Omigosh! Maybe it was the woman sitting next to me with pen and paper…was just at the beach this afternoon! Very hot and humid, but SUNNY! Thanks for your note. And, yes, that shepherd’s pie is a favorite, no matter the weather! Slainte!

  2. Good morning, Nancy, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s. I love the history of your trip to Ireland. It’s long been on my Bucket List. I do love the food, too, although we have never been anywhere close to an “Irish pub” style restaurant in the States. Went to one at a RWA conference one time. Delicious! I’m partial to Shepherd’s Pie myself. Can’t wait to try your book and your recipe. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Thank you for writing! Hope you get to make that memory one day…we had a lot of laughs in Ireland, and a lot of shepherd’s pie! I probably didn’t talk about the bread as much as I should have–for fear of putting on another pound at just the thought. So good to hear from you, Karen. Slainte!

  3. Good morning, Thank you for sharing about your trip to Ireland, how exciting! Thank you so much for sharing your delicious Shepherds Pie recipe, I love Shepherds Pie! Have a great weekend.

    1. Thank you, Alicia, for writing! Good to hear from you–I had to really mull over the recipes to post. There are so many good ones. Irish soda bread is so easy to make. Almost did that one! Hope you enjoy the recipe I shared. It should rest for a bit when you take it out of the oven. (It’s so tired from bubbling away in there 🙂 Slainte!

    1. Thank you, Mary Anne. I had a lot of fun writing the book–a good way to travel back down memory lane. I took so many notes when I was there, and there are so many wonderful books and stories that helped. All the best, and thanks, again, Slainte!

    1. Julie! So good to hear from you. Thanks for writing. Blanche can’t stay away from a mystery, it seems, and this one was fun to write–especially with so many family memories. Hope you enjoy the shepherd’s pie. It should rest a bit after you take it out of the oven — forgot to mention that! All the best, slainte!

  4. I loved the book! This was a thrilling adventure through beautiful Ireland that kept you at the edge of your seat. Thank you for the delicious recipe for shepherds pie, one of my favorites.

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