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Shepherd's Pie with Potato Topping

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Shepherd's Turkey Pie with Potato Topping

Shepherd's Turkey Pie with Potato Topping

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Although this dish is called a “pie,” there isn’t any pastry involved. It is simply a mix of ground turkey and vegetables in a sauce with a topping of mashed potatoes. The dish is browned in the oven for a delicious example of comfort food. For a pretty effect, pipe the topping over the filling, using a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Serve this hearty meal with a steamed green vegetable.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

  • Potato Topping
  • 3 1/2 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inches pieces
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
  • One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preparation:

1. Make the potato topping: In a large saucepan, combine the potatoes with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes well in a colander. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, milk, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until smooth. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes to blanch. Drain and set aside.

3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds. Stir in the ground turkey, breaking up the large pieces with a fork, and cook until browned. Add the blanched carrots, peas, corn, tomatoes, and tomato paste. Mix well. Cook, stirring often, until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Season with black pepper to taste.

4. Spray a 3-quart gratin dish or shallow casserole with vegetable oil spray. Spoon the vegetable-turkey mixture into the prepared dish. Top with dollops of mashed potatoes. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until heated through. Serve hot.

Recipe Notes

• You can mash any type of potato, but those with a high starch/low water content, such as russet and Yukon Gold, produce perfect results. The starch creates a fluffy texture, and the low water content allows them to absorb milk and butter without becoming gummy.
• Never try to whip potatoes in a food processor or you will have a gluey mess.
• Ideally, mashed potatoes should be served freshly made, but this is not always possible. Mash them up to 1 hour before serving, reserving one-third of the milk. Place them in a heatproof bowl, set over a pan of barely simmering water. Pour the reserved milk over the top. Just before serving, stir the milk into the potatoes.
• Potatoes are more fragile than you might think, so handle them carefully to prevent bruising. Keep them unwashed in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. If stored in a place that is too hot, the sugar will convert to starch and the potatoes will lose their natural sweetness.
• Choose fairly clean, smooth, firm potatoes. For even cooking, pick potatoes that are about the same size. Do not select ones with wrinkled skins, soft dark spots, cut surfaces, or green areas. Green spots mean they have been exposed to light; cut the spot off before cooking to eliminate bitterness.

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