February 8, 2009

Turkey Cottage Pie (Shepherds Pie)

When I met my husband almost 12 years ago, he was new to this country and I wanted to make him a dish that would give him a taste of home, as well as bring a little comfort to our taste buds. This is the dish that I chose to perfect for him. Having made this many times over, we finally got the seasonings right where we like it, and to us, when we think of comfort food, this is the first dish that comes to mind. You can almost liken it to meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, except this dish is packaged a little differently, where it's all snug and cozy and served in casserole form.
This is my version of a Shepherds Pie, which traditionally is made with lamb or mutton, hence the name. When another meat is substituted, it is then considered a cottage pie by the English and Australians. Ground beef is typically used here, but we have been enjoying the healthier benefits of ground turkey. Cubed beef chunks could also be used here if you desire a meatier bite. Another yummy touch would be to add some cheddar cheese over the top in the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Once you try this, you will know what I mean when I say this is one of the ultimate comfort foods.

Wine Pairing: A hefty Zinfandel would be a nice compliment

Turkey Cottage Pie
Serves 6-8

1 tbsp olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 onion chopped
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried mustard powder (can use regular mustard)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 can low sodium beef broth
1/2 tsp gravy master seasoning
1 package frozen peas and carrots

Mashed Potatoes
4 large potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup milk or cream
salt and pepper
Peel and quarter potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender. This will take about 25 minutes.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
While potatoes cook, add oil to a large pot. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add onions and ground pepper and saute until onions are soft. About 10 minutes. Add next seven ingredients and cook uncovered about 15 minutes. Sauce will be thick and will have reduced a bit. At this stage, add package of frozen peas and carrots. Cook for about 5 minutes more and take off heat. Add meat mixture to an 8 1/2 x 11 baking dish.

Drain and mash potatoes with butter and milk or cream and season with salt and pepper.
Add mashed potatoes to top of meat mixture and with a spatula or back of a spoon, spread evenly over the top to cover all the meat. Using the tines of a fork, make hash marks over all the potatoes. What you want are little peaks that will easily brown in the oven.
Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes. Your pie will be bubbling and lightly browned.

Voila! You are ready to enjoy with a simple green salad.

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