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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Turkey Shepherd's Pie (or Cottage Pie)

Traditional Shepherd's Pie is supposed to be made with lamb, hence the name Shepherd's pie.  However, when I was growing up, lamb isn't something we could afford, and so my mother used to make a pie with ground beef, which I later would learn is called Cottage Pie.

No matter what you call it, it's a great winter dinner that can be prepared ahead of time and just heated up when you are ready for dinner.  The basic pie is made with any kind of ground meat or a combination of different ground meet, with your choice of vegetables*, topped with mashed potatoes.

Today I decided to use ground turkey as my base, for a lower fat version.  When you use ground turkey, you will have to add a little more liquid than you would using ground beef, lamb or pork or it will be too dry.  The recipe below is for using turkey.

*I always add corn to my Shepherd's Pie, but peas or shredded carrots (my mother's version) can be added or exchanged, depending on personal taste.

Turkey Shepherd's or Cottage Pie

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 tbsp canola or lower fat oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp powdered beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp powdered chicken or veg bouillon
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn or peas or grated carrot
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare mashed potatoes first. Cut & peel potatoes and boil in salted water until cooked (about 20 minutes), mash and set aside.

  2. Heat oil in large skillet and cook onion and garlic until tender.
  3. Add ground meat and spices to skillet and cook until thoroughly cooked, about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle flour over meat mixture until covered.
  5. Add bouillon to boiling water, and pour over meat mixture.
  6. Continue cooking and stirring often, until a gravy has formed.
  7. Add vegetables to skillet and stir until well combined.
  8. Pour meat-vegetable mixture into baking dish and press down until smooth.
  9. Spoon mashed potatoes onto top of meat until completely covered.
  10. If you want you can spoon 2 tbsp butter over top of potatoes (can be omitted if you wanted.)
  11. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until heated through.

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