November 17, 2013

Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie

Hi Everyone!
   If you are a person that can't get enough Thanksgiving then I have a great meal for you today.  This is an original recipe that I came up with a few years ago and have tweaked.  It's a great meal to make now because you can take advantage of great Thanksgiving sales at the grocery store.  It's also a great meal to use up those Thanksgiving leftovers.

Turkey and Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie


Turkey Filling

2 pounds ground turkey(you could also use chopped leftover turkey)
3 stalks of celery, diced
Half a large onion, diced
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups of chicken broth(our you could use turkey broth)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sweet Potato Topping

2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of half and half or milk
a  pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese

1.   Brown the turkey in a large skillet.  I used 85% lean turkey.  If you are using leaner turkey or leftover turkey, you should increase the amount of olive oil to 2 tablespoons.

2.  While the turkey is cooking, dice the sweet potatoes and put into medium pot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil.  When they start boiling, add some salt and reduce heat to 80% and allow to cook till tender.

3.  When turkey is about 90% browned, add the celery, onion, thyme, salt and pepper.  Let turkey finish cooking and allow veges to start to soften.

Softening veges

4.  When the turkey is 100% browned, add the flour.  Stir the flour around and cook for about 1 minute or so.  Add the broth and bring mixture back to a bubble.  The sauce will be very "saucy".  This is exactly the way you want it.  Once the mixture thickens, reduce heat and cook another 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes.

The "saucy" turkey mixture.

5.  Drain the cooked sweet potatoes and return to hot pot.  Add butter, half and half, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Mash till mostly smooth.  I enjoy some lumps.  If you don't like lumps, keep mashing.

My lumpy sweet potatoes.

6.  Place turkey mixture in the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.  Dollop sweet potatoes on top.  The sweet potatoes don't spread easily.  I find it best to dollop the sweet potatoes in large spoonfuls all over the turkey mixture then spread them out with the back of a spoon.  Top with cheese.

7.  If freezing, cover, label and freeze till ready to use.  To reheat, thaw for 24 hours in fridge.  Bake 35-45 min at 350 degrees till warmed through and top is browned and bubbly.

8.  If serving right away, bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until top is browned and bubbly.

I hope you guys enjoy this meal as much as I do.  It's a great way to make Thanksgiving anytime of year. Also remember to make it after Thanksgiving to use up all those leftovers.  If you have leftover mashed potatoes(or sweet potatoes) from Thanksgiving, you could even skip a bunch of the steps!

I'd also like to encourage you to make this meal for someone that needs it this time of year.  I'm going to donate mine to the freezer meal ministry at church.

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