Make Ahead

Shepherds Pie Redux

March 27, 2011
0 Ratings
  • Makes 1 savory pie
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

What You'll Need
  • 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
  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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • fiveandspice
  • lorigoldsby
  • gingerroot
  • TiggyBee
  • Sagegreen

10 Reviews

fiveandspice May 16, 2011
What a great twist on a classic. Shepherd's pie is one of my favorites, but somehow I never remember to make it!
Sagegreen May 16, 2011
Thank you so much, 5&s! You know it was your wonderful tuna noodle redux which inspired this idea!
fiveandspice May 17, 2011
Aw, really?! Well, I think this redux looks inspired! It is saved, and will be perfect for all the nasty rainy weather we have blowing through this week.
Sagegreen May 17, 2011
Yeah, it's cold and rainy out here today, too. Let me know what you think if you do make this! Thanks again.
lorigoldsby March 30, 2011
this sounds like a unique twist i can't wait to try. what made you think to pair the sweet/savory combo of the maple and horseradish? It's snowing here today and I'm looking for something warm to make--think i found it!
Sagegreen March 30, 2011
Thanks, lori. Glad you are back. I am now traveling! This came about with some of my maple horseradish marinade leftover. If you try it, let me know what you think.
gingerroot March 28, 2011
Oh yum! I am always looking for ways to boost ground turkey as an alternative to ground beef and slow cooking with maple and ale sounds amazing! I also love your buttermilk-horseradish potatoes.
Sagegreen March 28, 2011
Thanks, gingerroot, for noticing those details! You just have to watch this to make sure you have enough liquid during the slow cooking process, and then enough to develop the gravy.
TiggyBee March 28, 2011
Another lovely, Sagegreen! I remember your steak and ale pie that I tested was fab..this too, I bet!!
Sagegreen March 28, 2011
Thanks, TiggyBee! The use of horseradish makes this perky but the sherry with the ale and the thyme is subtle. I really like the flavor balance.