Saturday, October 8, 2011
Turkey shepherd's pie
This is my light take on a classic. I substitute ground turkey for the beef or lamb, pack it full of veggies, and skip the cheese altogether (I honestly just don't think it needs it). The result is heavy on flavor, light on damage. It also reheats very nicely, making it ideal to stick in a lunchbox.
The vegetables I used on this occasion are carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini, but the possibilities are endless. Frozen peas would be pretty classic, but you could use spinach, green beans, whatever you want. You are the boss of you. Clean out that fridge.
I also did my usual trick of making the mashed potato topping with half potato and half yams, to make it more interesting and nutritious. If I had butternut squash lying around I'd have used that too, even carrots (and then skipped putting them on the inside).
1 lb ground turkey
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrots, finely diced
12-15 medium mushrooms, chopped or quartered
2 large zucchini, diced
2 cups low sodium chicken stock
1/2 a little can of tomato paste
~ 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (you don't even have to pull them off the stems, just remember to fish them out)
~ 2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp butter
~ 1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Brown the turkey, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. When the turkey looks about done, add the onion, garlic, and carrots and allow them to sweat for a few minutes. Then add the mushrooms and zucchini (or miscellaneous vegetables of your choice), season again, and allow to cook another minute or two. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Fish out the thyme stems.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook your potatoes and yams. Drain, pop them back into the pot, add the butter and milk, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and mash to your desired consistency.
Assemble! Layer your turkey and vegetables into the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and wonderful.
Serves 6 health-conscious shepherds.