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Author Notes: Shepherd’s pie is a centuries-old dish that originated in the UK. Classic shepherd’s pie consists of a filling of ground lamb, sometimes with a few vegetables included, that's topped with a pillowy crust of mashed potatoes. It’s the ultimate, stick-to-your-ribs comfort food- the kind of dish you want to tuck into on a cold winter’s day.
I set out to make a lighter version that would be more nutritious without sacrificing flavor. To put my own spin on it, I decided to infuse this classic dish with Southwest ingredients like chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano and cilantro. And instead of white potatoes, I make my topping with sweet potatoes whose natural sweetness nicely complements the spices in the filling. —Sonali aka the Foodie Physician
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons chopped chipotles in adobo (seeds removed) plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the can
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 pound lean (93/7) ground turkey
- 2 tablespoons flour, preferably white whole wheat
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock
- 1 bag (1 lb) mixed frozen vegetables
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
- 1/3 cup reduced fat sour cream
- 1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken stock, heated
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons sliced scaliions for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- To make the filling, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until slightly softened, 6-7 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, cumin, oregano, and tomato paste and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Stir in the flour and cook another 1-2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, frozen vegetables and cilantro and simmer another couple of minutes until thickened. Season the filling with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a 9-inch pie pan or 6 individual gratin dishes.
- To make the topping, pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork. Place them on a plate and microwave 8-10 minutes until soft, turning them over halfway through. Once cooled slightly, cut the potatoes in half and remove the skin. Place the flesh in a bowl along with the sour cream and chicken stock. Mash the mixture together with a potato masher until smooth. Alternatively, you can pass the sweet potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer and then stir in the other ingredients. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Spread the sweet potato topping evenly over the filling, spreading it all the way to the edges. Alternatively, you can pipe the topping on with a pastry bag.
- Place the pie(s) on a baking sheet and bake in the oven 20-25 minutes until filling is warm and topping is lightly browned. Remove from oven and garnish with scallions. Cool 15 minutes before serving.