Shepard's Pie

Another yummy success.  I made a few changes – the original recipe calls for tempeh but says “you can substitute beef” in the notes.  I split the difference and used ground turkey.  The recipe also specifies a cornstarch slurry as a thickener, and since I really dislike the texture cornstarch gives to gravies, I used flour instead, adding it after the first veggie saute like a roux.  And to the sweet potato topping, I added barley malt syrup (which I had on hand) instead of brown rice syrup (which I did not).

First, the sweet-potato topping:

Peel 2 very large sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.  Steam 20 minutes or until tender but not disintegrating.

In a small saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp barley malt syrup and the juice & zest of 1 orange.  Bring to a low boil and let reduce by about 1/2, until syrupy.  Combine with the sweet potatoes, mash until smooth.

And the pie filling:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced into coins
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • veg oil
  • 2 tbsp flour, more or less
  • salt and pepper

Heat veg oil in a large skillet (a chef’s pan is ideal) until shimmering.  Add onions, carrots, and turkey, saute until onions and carrots have softened and turkey is beginning to brown.  Season with salt and pepper. Add flour and stir until it disappears.  Saute about another 2-3 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

  • 2 cups water or stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 package (10 oz) each frozen peas & corn
  • 1 lb new potatoes, in 1/2-inch cubes
  • a few sprigs of thyme tied in a bundle, or 1/2 tsp dried

Add everything on the list above.  Add the water slowly as if you were making a gravy (since you are, in fact, making a gravy).  Let simmer about 20 minutes with occasional stirring until potatoes are just tender.

Add 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage.  Pour filling into a large pie plate or shallow casserole dish.  Top with potatoes and sliced almonds.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


Dylan Report: He ate all of his pie filling, but refused to touch the sweet potatoes in spite of the fact that he loves sweet potatoes AND orange juice and was told many many times that the scary orange stuff he wouldn’t eat contained both.  Oh well!  He did eat all of the peas and carrots on his plate, so I can’t complain too much.



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