Make Ahead

Shepherds Pie Redux

March 27, 2011
Author Notes

I wanted to try a different approach to making shepherds pie than my usual American way of using ground beef, peas, carrots and corn. Now with the English side of the family they would only consider lamb for this dish. Well, I decided to try out ground turkey, to see if I could make this savory and tasty. Since it was the weekend, I had time to experiment with a slow cook oven method to see if the flavors would develop further. I also had some maple syrup with horseradish I wanted to use up. I was really pleased with how flavorful the turkey proved to be. I think that the horseradish really helped, but it is also nicely counterbalanced by the fresh thyme, sherry, and ale. The liquids simmer into their own light gravy along the way. I suggest you serve this with a side of gently steamed snow peas (or tender sugar snap peas) and a simple green salad. —Sagegreen

  • Makes 1 savory pie
  • splash of olive oil
  • 3 finely minced shallots
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey, no antibiotics, 6% fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh milled black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves stripped from the stems
  • 1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup mixed with 2 tsp. of grated horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or 1/2 tbl. arrowroot
  • @ 8 ounces ale (I used Mayflower spring hop)
  • 2 pounds potatoes (russet, white or red bliss)
  • 1 tablespoon grated horseradish root
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or Maldon salt flakes
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • thyme sprigs for garnish
In This Recipe
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the shallots until translucent. Stir in the chopped celery and carrots and cook for about a minute. Add this to a baking dish (2 qt.).
  2. Crumple in the ground turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Pour in the maple syrup with 2 tsp. horseradish. Mix the sherry with the cornstarch or arrowroot; pour this over the top. Finally pour in the ale. Use as much liquid to cover the turkey completely for a slow simmer. Bake in a 275 degree oven for about 2 hours.
  3. Peel and cut the potatoes. Add them to a pot of water with salt and bring to a boil. Cook until tender for about 20-25 minutes. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the boiled water. Add this water into the potatoes with the grated horseradish, butter, salt to taste, and buttermilk. Mash, but do not whip smooth.
  4. When the turkey has cooked, take it out of the oven. Reset the oven to 425 degrees. Drain off about 2/3 of the liquid and reserve it to use as a sauce (keeping 1/3 with the turkey). Pile the mashed potatoes on top of the turkey. Return the dish to the oven to brown, for 20-25 minutes. Serve with a spoonful of the reserved liquid and a sprig of fresh thyme. Serve with sides of some greens, such as snow peas and salad.

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