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
1 savory pie
splash of olive oil
finely minced shallots
stalk of celery, finely chopped
carrot, peeled and finely chopped
ground turkey, no antibiotics, 6% fat
fresh milled black pepper
fresh thyme leaves stripped from the stems
grade B maple syrup mixed with 2 tsp. of grated horseradish
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.).
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.
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.
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.