Enter by the front door of Callahan’s Seafood Bar and Grill on Rosemont Avenue in Frederick and you’ll experience a quaint country restaurant. Go in the back door and it’s a whole other story, with a bar, tables and games.
If you are looking for somewhere to go on St. Patrick’s Day, Callahan’s offers two distinct options. It’s the only day of the year the restaurants doesn’t take reservations, but it will provide carry-out if you can’t get a table. In any event, you’ll get to choose from head chef Steve Hovis’s Irish specialties: corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie (our featured recipe this month), a Reuben sandwich, an Irish club sub and the pot at the end of the rainbow, Bash Cheesecake, which is a combination of brownie, cheesecake and Bailey’s ice cream. Of course, you could skip the Irish fare altogether and opt for the customer favorites: crab cakes, seafood flatbread or crab pretzels. Hearing about the snow birds from Ohio who stop in each year on their way down to Florida and order 30-40 crab cakes to enjoy with family and friends during southern winters makes that a sure choice for me. “It’s good food at good prices that keeps people coming back to Callahan’s,” said Callahan’s Chef Steve Hovis.
A self-taught chef, Hovis puts his own little twist on his food. “People say they come here just for my cooking,” he said. “That makes [my] daily drive from Pennsylvania to Frederick for 35 years worth it.”
Chef Steve Hovis’s Shepherd’s Pie
2 T olive oil
2 lbs. lean ground lamb (or 1/2 ground beef and half lamb or all ground beef)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 C onion, peeled and chopped fine
Thyme to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 oz. butter
2 T pureed tomatoes
7 oz. red wine
2 oz. Worcestershire sauce
1 liter chicken stock
2 lbs. boiled potatoes mashed with 2 oz. butter, 5 oz. milk, 2 egg yolks, freshly ground white pepper and salt
Cook the potatoes in the chicken stock.
Make the mashed potatoes and set aside.
Cook lamb, onions with olive oil. Add all spices and liquids.
Put meat and sauce on bottom of baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes.
Cook at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.