Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shepherd’s Pie – a great way to use leftover turkey


We typically have more leftovers from Thanksgiving than we know what to do with. Turkey sandwiches made with breast meat are one of our favorites, but the leftover dark meat is always a dilemma. Last year we made Turkey Hash (recipe in the archives) with a fried egg on top and it was delicious. Other years we’ve make a Turkey Curry, but this year we were in the mood for something different. I found a classic recipe for Shepherd’s Pie in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook and substituted the dark meat from our turkey for the lamb, added a dash of sherry to the gravy, included corn and green peas, topped the mixture with the traditional mashed potato crust, but added a sprinkling of good Gruyere cheese at the end. Note, if fresh rosemary is not available, substitute dried thyme. Dried rosemary, in my opinion, can taste like dried twigs. A classic Shepherd’s Pie calls for leftover lamb or beef, but we thought the turkey gave it a current twist on a classic. It is an earthy, comfort food type of dish and would be good with other vegetables, such as carrots.

Currently the Food Network is featuring quite a few recipes for Shepherd’s Pie on their website. They’ve switched up ingredients and have used some creative twists. For example, one uses cornbread for a topping; another contains sweet potatoes. They are taking this classic, to quote them, from “familiar to fabulous.”


Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from The Fannie Farmer Cookbook

2 cups chopped cooked turkey meat, preferably a combination of light & dark meat
Olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary (do not substitute dried rosemary) or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ to ½ cup beef broth
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Dash of dry sherry
1 cup cooked corn kernels
1 cup cooked small English peas
4 medium potatoes, cooked and mashed (about 3 cups)
½ cup freshly grated Gruyere or Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sauté the chopped onion in a small bit of olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat until soft and beginning to brown. Season the onions with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and rosemary and cook a minute or two more. Remove from heat and set aside in a large bowl.

Chop the meat in a food processor until finely minced, but not turned into a paste, and remove from the processor and add the meat to the cooked onions and garlic.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few minutes until smooth and blended. Slowly add the beef broth. Stir and cook until the gray is thickened, cooking at least 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. If necessary, use an additional ¼ cup of broth if your sauce is too thick. Add a dash of dry sherry and cook a minute or two more. Add the meat mixture along with the corn and peas; stir to blend, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon mixture into a casserole or individual soup dishes. Spread the mashed potatoes on top and cover to the edge of the casserole. Make a crisscross design with a fork. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the meat is bubbling hot and the potatoes are browned. Top with the cheese and bake a few minutes more until cheese melts. Serves 4 to 6.

34 comments:

  1. Sam, this looks delicious. And, I am definitely going to prepare it. I even have a new wedge of Gruyere in the refrigerator.

    Tasty, tasty!

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  2. Sam,
    Thanks for posting this recipe for Shepherd's pie. This recipe looks delicious. I love Shepherd's pie and can't wait to try this recipe. What a great way to use left over turkey. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  3. Sam, wonderful idea. Except at our house, the dark meat is the first to go, so would have to subsitute the white meat.

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  4. What a fabulous idea! I have been craving mashed potatoes, and still have mushroom gravy left I made this past Saturday, so this is on my weeks menu...

    I love your presentation!

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  5. This sounds like a great recipe! And the pictures look great!

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  6. I made Shepherd's pie with some of my turkey leftovers as well, it was awesome! I like yours served in that adorable bowl!

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  7. I saw the recipe for the shepherd's pie with the sweet potatoes on the Food Network, in fact I have all of the ingredients to get cracking.

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  8. Sam, this is a brilliant recipe to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! So many of the ingredients are the same ones from the holiday. I agree dried rosemary tastes like twigs. Great idea to substitute with dried thyme. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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  9. This is one of the comfort food that I enjoy the most. Looks comfy and yummy.

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  10. What a lovely Shepherd's Pie and a great use of turkey leftovers.

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  11. what a great idea! and I love the individual servings.

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  12. I'm a big fan of Shepherd's Pie -- never thought to try it with turkey. Sounds delicious!

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  13. Sam,
    This one sounds like a winner--well, they all do! I'll give it a try.
    Love gruyere cheese!

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  14. Turkey in Sherpherd's pie is a wonderful twist Sam. Very creative way to use up those leftovers.

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  15. Great idea for leftover turkey -- it looks yummy!

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  16. Sam,

    I was just looking for a good recipe for Shepherd's Pie!! THANK YOU for this recipe because it sounds delicious. The Turkey Hash caught my eye also. . . Great photos by the way.

    Gin

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  17. this is superb .. i would have never thought of such a preparation...thanks for sharing....

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  18. a classic indeed - well done and presented beautifully.

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  19. We always make lots of turkey sandwiches - this pie looks wayy better!

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  20. Thanksgiving wasn't at our house this year so I missed out on most of the leftovers. This recipe makes me wish for leftover turkey. Yum! Maybe I can make some with the chicken I have. :D

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  21. Love the addition of the sherry and the topping with gruyere. Perfect! I also won't used dried rosemary for the same reason. Never thought of turkey shepherd's pie and now I wonder, why not?

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  22. I love shepherd's pie. What a good idea to use the turkey! We didn't have that much left over. Poop! One of my favorite meals is a turkey sandwich with dressing and cranberry sauce. We only had that once and the turkey was done. Well, except for the soup, of course!

    I've finally gotten around to accepting the award you gave me back in October. I'm sorry for the delay, but I hope you'll stop by and see how spiffy my blog looks now. Thanks again!

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  23. What a great recipe and I love your presentation. Thanks for sharing this one with us. It will be put to good use.

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  24. Sam, The shepherds pie looks delicious. So does that sweet potato pie. Glad you are home from your travels.

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  25. This is a dish that I have wanted to prepare. It looks delicious, Sam. Thank you for sharing...I love Gruyere and Fanny is on the shelf!

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  26. We did the same thing at my house, though I love the single serving proportion of yours. GREG

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  27. Dear Sam,

    this dish looks fabulously rich & ooh soo good,....

    MMMMMM,...great in these colder & darker winter evenings!

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  28. This Shepherd's pie looks delicious. And your island life seems pretty amazing too!

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  29. There are many kind of shepherd pies?

    This one is mouth-watering :)

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  30. I love the crock idea! We have the exact same ones and use them for soup but haven't thought of using them this way.

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  31. Turkey curry reminds me of the Bridget Jones movie! LOL! I'd love to try that Shepherd's Pie though. Delicious and probably better than the turkey plain the first night! Yum!

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  32. What a great idea! Looks and sounds wonderful.

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Sam