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Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

September 26, 2011

Laura’s Blog Entry

As soon as the weather cools down into the 60’s at night I am back in the kitchen cooking up warm and wonderful meals that stick to your ribs. This recipe is one I have been perfecting for awhile – Turkey Shepherd’s Pie. You can certainly make it with ground beef. We are just eating more turkey these days.

It’s chock full of vegetable as well. I’ve marked some of them as optional. Recipes with too many ingredients can be tough on the food budget, but it’s really tastes best if you throw them all in. If you have the celery and peppers on hand then use them but there’s nothing I hate more than buying a whole bag of celery for a meal that calls for just one stalk!

I will warn you, this is a labor intensive recipe, but great for a day when you have the time for slow-simmered comfort food.

One last note – I have included instructions for making this in the crock pot, but you can just as easily bake it in the oven.

Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
⅓ cup chopped carrot (or I like to do short, julienned matchsticks)
½ cup diced mushrooms (These give great richness to the dish. Cut them very tiny if you live with the mushroom-phobic. That way the mushroom just dissolve into the broth and no one is the wiser!)
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
½ cup diced red bell pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
¾ cup broth – beef, chicken, vegetable – your choice. Beef makes it richer.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup frozen peas
2 Tablespoons flour (Or I used 1 Tablespoon tapioca granules because I had them on hand)
2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces for boiling
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, carrot, mushrooms, celery and bell pepper until tender. Add the garlic and cook one minute, stirring constantly. Add tomato paste, herbs and salt and pepper. Cook one more minute. Remove vegetables from pan and place in crock pot. Add the broth. Set the crock pot to high heat.

Heat additional tablespoon of oil. Brown ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Drain fat and add meat to crock pot along with the flour. Mix well.  Allow mixture to simmer for a couple of hours.

[NOTE: If you are not using a crock pot, set aside the vegetables, cook the turkey, then add the vegetables back in. Simmer for at least an hour on low heat to blend flavors.]

In the meantime, in a saucepan, boil the potatoes until tender. Drain and return to pan. Mash potatoes and add butter, milk, salt and pepper.

For final hour of cooking, stir in frozen peas, then top the meat mixture with potatoes. Set temperature to low and let simmer one hour, or until warm through.

[For non-crock pot version: Transfer filling into a baking dish, top with potato mixture, then heat in a 350 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until warm through and bubbly.]

Serve in individuals bowls so you don’t lose any of the yummy sauce! Serves 4 – 6.

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