Shepherd’s Pie

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Shepherd’s Pie

I am all about quick and easy dinners, especially during the week.

What I love about this one is that you can actually make it ahead and just reheat it if you want to.  Otherwise, it is a pretty fast one to cook on a weeknight. My kids are thrilled any time I serve them something covered in mashed potatoes…  let’s be real, everything is better with mashed potatoes.

The other thing I like about this is all of the veggies in it, as well as the lean turkey. Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef and/or lamb, but we went with a little healthier version by using super lean ground turkey. If you want to go traditional, just sub in the other meat and you are good to go.

One other nice thing about this recipe is that I am able to use up some of the frozen peas from my rather large fall harvest. There comes a point when you have to find new ways to use them other than just heating them up as a side dish. If you have stores of potatoes and onions from the fall, this is one more recipe for using those up as well.  

Ingredients:
Potatoes:
• 6-8 baking potatoes
• 6 T butter
• ½ cup-1 cup milk or heavy cream
• Salt and pepper
Pie itself:
• 1 carrot
• 2 celery stalks
• ½ white onion
• ½ lb. of frozen peas
• 1 lb lean ground turkey (or 1 lb of beef or lamb)
• 2 T cornstarch
• ½ c water
• ½ good stout beer (optional)
• Salt and pepper
• Red pepper flake
• 1 T garlic powder
• 1 T Herbs de Provence
• Olive oil

Start with the potatoes first. Peel and chop them and get them on to boil. Add about 2-3 T of kosher salt to the water, as this is your only chance to get some infused into the potatoes while they cook.

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I have a couple of tips here – first, cut the potato in half and then do the rest of your chopping so that you are working with a flat surface. Then also cut them into smaller pieces – this allows it to cook through faster.  

Finally, once they are on the stove, I put a wooden spoon across the top. I am not sure where this came from, but the trick works and it keeps you from boiling over if you don’t overfill the pot. 

Put a wooden spoon across the top it keeps you from boiling over

While those are cooking, you can start the pie filling.

Dice up your onion, carrot, and celery. 

Dice up your onion, carrot, and celery.

Put these into your skillet in about 2 T of olive oil. Add about 1 t of kosher salt and some fresh ground pepper. Cook until tender.

Add veggies to your skillet.

Once veggies are cooked through, add in meat and brown through.

Once veggies are cooked through, add in meat and brown through.

To finish up the filling, add in your frozen peas and stout, along with the garlic powder and Herbs de Provence. Mix water and cornstarch thoroughly and then pour that into the mixture.  

Stir all of the ingredients together and allow it to come to a bubble so that it begins to thicken up into a nice sauce.

Remove your potatoes once they are fork tender and drain the water. Add in butter and cream or milk and mash them up. I add in some salt (if needed) and fresh ground pepper to finish it up.

Remove your potatoes once they are fork tender and drain the water.

Pour your filling into an oven-safe dish and then top with the potatoes. I have been known to pipe them on with a pastry bag to look super pretty, but for this one, I just dished it on and then used a fork to give it a uniform look.

Pour filling into oven-safe dish. Top with potatoes.

Pop it in under the broiler long enough to brown the top to finish it off.

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Once you pull it out of the oven, you are good to go for a hearty and healthy dinner for 4. 

You can reheat the refrigerated leftovers for up to a week.