Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve never actually made a shepherd’s pie. As in, I’ve never used lamb or mutton or even beef. I’ve never used flour as a thickener for the gravy. I’ve never used a recipe. Clearly.

I made primarily what you would call leftover-anythings-mixed-with-vegetables-covered-in-potato pies. Primarily I made them to use up leftover chicken meat if I’d decided to use a whole chicken to make stock.

Well I’m back with another non-shepherd’s pie. Unless shepherd’s hung around a lot of turkeys. I’m a rebel I tell ya. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.

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In a moment of mild confusion at the poultry counter, I asked the man standing behind turkey breasts the size of his trunk for two kilograms of ground turkey. Apparently I was thinking of feeding a small ground-turkey-loving army. I only planned to make meatballs and burgers.

So when I found one kilogram of frozen turkey in my freezer and a practically thriving garden of carrots in my vegetable drawer, I made a turkey shephard’s pie with carrot mash — probably my least shepherdy of all my shepherd’s pies.

I wasn’t going to blog about this. It’s leftovers, kind of. It’s really nothing special. But when we dug into that piping hot pie, the dinner table was quiet save for the clacking of forks against plates. “You have to blog about this,” my husband said. He always says that. But this time I agreed.

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Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

Serves 4-6

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs ghee or coconut oil
1kg ground turkey breast
2tbs Worcestershire sauce
4tbs tomato paste
1tbs dried oregano
1/2tbs dried rosemary
1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 to 1.5kg carrots, chopped (can sub cauliflower for this if you want)
3 garlic cloves
1-2tbs ghee
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. In an oven-proof 12-inch skillet (I used cast iron) or heavy-duty pot, sweat the onion and garlic in coconut oil or ghee with a pinch of salt on low heat.
3. Turn up the heat and cook the turkey until slightly brown and no longer pink.
4. Add in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, stock, spices and zucchini then let it cook for about 20 minutes until thickened. Adjust for seasonings.
5. Meanwhile, steam your carrots and garlic cloves in a steamer basket or stainless-steel colander over a pot of boiling water. Drain and place in the food processor.
6.Puree  the carrots until smooth with the ghee and adjust your salt and pepper.
7. If you’ve used a skillet, simply spoon the mashed carrots over the turkey mixture and smooth, using a fork  to make a pattern to give the mixture more surface area to brown. Cover with foil and let cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes then broil for 15 until browned. If you used a pot, transfer the turkey mixture into a roasting tray and follow the same process.
8. Let cool a bit before serving with hot sauce, as is our choice in this paleo house.

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