Saturday, November 29, 2008

Shepherd's Pie

I decided to make a shepherd's pie with some of our Thanksgiving leftovers for lunch today. I had planned to do it for dinner tonight, but we're now going down to Rochester Hills to have dinner at Bravo! with our friends Ben and Kati. I used an Emeril recipe with just a few modifications. I generally shy away from Emeril recipes because they just seem too complicated with a super long list of ingredients. This one has a long list of ingredients, but its not complicated at all and came together very quickly. Best of all, it tastes awesome! Kevin, Carson, and I all enjoyed this for lunch today. I'll definitely be using this as a basis for future shepherd's pies.

Shepherd's Pie with Thanksgiving Leftovers

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions (I just used one small white onion, about 1/2 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and chopped, about 1 cup (I used three carrots)
1/4 teaspoon Essence or Creole Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt (I just did a couple shakes from the shaker)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (I just did a few turns of the pepper grinder)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, and sliced (I just threw in a can of mushrooms)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves (I used dried and only one shake)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
2 to 2 1/2 cups chopped or shredded roast turkey, white and/or dark meat (I used about 3 cups so that I could just use it up)
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
1/2 cup green peas (I used about a cup)
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes (I only used about 2 cups since that's what I had left)
3/4 cup grated sharp or medium Cheddar (I only used about 1/4 cup)
chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square or 2.2 quart baking dish with the butter and set aside.

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, Essence, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the mushrooms, thyme, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until thick, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the meat and stir well to combine. Gradually add the stock and then the peas, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the mixture is thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Carefully transfer to the prepared dish and spoon the potatoes over the meat mixture, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with the cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbly and the potatoes are crisp around the edges, 22 to 25 minutes.

Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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