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Author Notes: Shepherd’s Pie is synonymous with cold weather comfort food, but who said it can’t be enjoyed year round? I created this lighter spring version with ground turkey and a few weeks’ worth of CSA white turnips and fresh herbs. Although I did not have any fresh carrots on hand, I did have fresh carrot juice, and it was a worthwhile substitute, I think. Fresh thyme and tarragon add a delicate finish to the traditionally hearty gravy. This comes together quickly and is quite delicious. —gingerroot
for the filling
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white mushrooms, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh italian parsley, chopped
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh marjoram leaves
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup fresh carrot juice
- 12-18 small to medium white turnips, trimmed, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- Greens from turnips, long stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
for the gravy and topping
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup vermouth or other dry white wine
- Cornstarch roux made from 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed in 3 tablespoons water
- 2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 9 X 13 inch ceramic baking dish by greasing with olive oil. Set aside
- Heat olive oil in 10-12” skillet over medium high heat. Saute onions until softened and lightly browned, 2 minutes.
- Add ground turkey and brown, using spoon to break up pieces. Continue to cook until evenly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
- Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme and marjoram, stirring to combine.
- Add parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
- Meanwhile, bring chicken broth and carrot juice to boil in a small saucepan.
- Add turnips; turn down heat and cover to simmer. Cook until turnips are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add chopped turnip greens and cook for 2 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove turnips and greens (setting broth/carrot juice mixture to the side) and fold into skillet with turkey mixture. Spoon into prepared baking dish.
- Add butter to broth/carrot juice mixture. Turn up heat to bring to a slow boil.
- Add vermouth, fresh thyme and tarragon, and slowly whisk in cornstarch roux to thicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Spoon broth/carrot gravy over turkey/turnip mixture. Top with leftover mashed potatoes.
- Cover with foil and cook in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil during last 5 minutes of cooking. (Prepared pie can be made 1 day ahead, skipping the mashed potato step, and refrigerated. Top pie with potatoes before immediately before cooking. Follow heating directions above).