Weekend Dinner – Ground Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
Before you say anything about using ground turkey for a shepherd’s pie (although we will talk about it more after the recipe): I’ve seen my precious Italian food being butchered for years. It’s time for payback. Now that we have established the ground rules, let’s move on.
What I love the most about this recipe is that while it does take a bit of time to prep, mostly in terms of chopping and briefly cooking the vegetables, you can easily double everything up and get more portions out of it. With 500gr (or 1lb approximately) of ground turkey, we usually get 5 to 6 portions out of it.
It’s easily freezable but does well in the fridge for a few days as well – which is excellent for meal prep – and weirdly enough, on the third day, the lovely mash on top seems to be even tastier than on the night you made it.
Anyway, get your best knife and start chopping.
Ground Turkey Shepher’s Pie
- Chef's Knife
- Casserole Dish
- 1.5-2 kg potatoes (approx 4.5 lbs)
- 80 ml sour cream (1/3 cup)
- 50 gr butter
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion
- 3 carrots (diced)
- 2 celery stalks (diced)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 400 gr sweetcorn
- 500 gr ground turkey (approx 1 lb)
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp flour
- 375 ml chicken broth (1 and 1/2 cups)
For the mash
- Peel the potatoes and put them in a pot of salted cold water. Bring the water to a boil and let them cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and return to pot, and add the butter and sour cream. Mix together and add salt to taste. Mash with a potato masher or fork, if you feel like working out.
For the turkey
- Ideally while the potatoes are boiling, start chopping the onion, carrots, and celery. Heat up the vegeable oil over medium heat and add the veggies to the hot pan. Let the mix sweat and in the meantime, chop the garlic.
- Once the veggies are softened (about 5 to 10 minutes), add the garlic and the sweetcorn. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes and then move to a plate.
- Add the ground turkey to the pot where you just cooked the veggies and cook until browned (approximately 7 to 10 minutes), making sure to break it up. Add tomato paste, thyme, rosemary and black pepper and keep cooking for another 5 minutes.
- Add back the veggies you cooked before and mix everything together. Add flour and chicken broth and let it simmer until the broth is almost completely absorbed (this may take between 5 and 15 minutes)
- Add the mix to a casserole and top with the potato mash you prepared in advance, making sure to cover all sides. Then place into the oven at 200°C/400°F for approximately 30 minutes, but leave it a bit longer if the potatoes are not browed.
Nothing like a shepherd’s pie for a weekday meal
It may come as a surprise, but we love to cook (hence, this blog). But for as much as we would like to cook a fancy, decadent meal every meal, we don’t often have the time or capacity to do so. Actually, sometimes we can’t just be bothered to cook anything. Those are the times when this ground turkey shepherd’s pie comes in.
While it takes a while to chop all the veggies, this is an excellent recipe to prepare in advance for the next 2 or 3 meals (depending on how hungry you are, of course). And you know us, we do love ground turkey recipes to batch prep *hinting at our chilli recipe*
This ground turkey alternative to a classic shepherd’s pie is leaner but still tasty, filling, and very comforting. It’s absolutely great when it’s fresh out of the oven, but it’s also very, very good when it’s cold or microwaved the next day.
Shepherd’s Pie, Cottage Pie, Scotland, Ireland…
So for this recipe I did what I do best: I got lost in Google research to find out where the original shepherd’s pie recipe comes from. I was not lucky.
If anything, now I’m even more confused on what’s what and where it comes from. I always assumed shepherd’s pie was an umbrella term that included either lamb or mince meat. Clearly, I was wrong. Although in my defence, Wikipedia seems to be generalising as much as I was.
To make things straight: to be classified as a shepherd’s pie, it has to be made with either lamb or mutton. If you’re using ground beef, that becomes a cottage pie instead. Taste of Home also complicates things a bit more by saying that if you’re adding breadcrumbs on top, then you’ll have a Cumberland pie.
Then it comes to the pastry crust vs mash topping: is it a pie if it doesn’t involve pastry? Many say it’s not, as much as a buttery mash is enticing, it’s no substitute for pastry (which, in all honesty, I kinda agree with). At the end of this discussion, I almost feel like I should change the name of this blog entry, as it looks like my shepherd’s pie is literally anything but a shepherd’s pie.
So what did we learn today? First, no one can agree on anything. Second, I’ll use this pie drama to go back to all the people that assume that it’s only Italian food the one being debated. Third, call it whatever you want, but this is one of our best weekday dinners and no one can argue with that.