Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Shepherds Pie...Oh My!!

I told you I would post anything, good lookin' or not, so here goes....

When I get home at 5, I tend to turn Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals on. I like to watch how quickly she can chop things and most of the time her creations look quite delicious. Now, I always thought Shepherds Pie sounded gross, but on Monday I saw her make this delicious looking Smokey Turkey Shepherd's Pie and I realized all Shepherds Pie consists of is meat, veggies, and mashed potatoes. Sounds easy enough right?

All I can say is... 30 minute meals my behind!

This is defiantly not a dig on Rachel Ray, or the show, I love it but boy she moves a lot quicker than I can, and let's just say my Shepherd's Pie did not turn out even close to good looking, but at least it tasted good (boyfriend approved) and it fit into my daily points allowance on weight watchers with a few substitutions. Only 7 points for 1/9 of the casserole.

Here's the Recipe:
- 3 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons EVOO - extra-virgin olive oil - 2 turns of the pan
- 1/4 pound smoky bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
- 1 1/3 pound ground turkey breast
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, available in small cans on spice aisle of market (You may substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons each sweet paprika and cumin combined)
- Coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons, 5 or 6 sprigs, fresh thyme leaves
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 ribs celery from the heart, chopped
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup sour cream, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 10 to 12 blades fresh chives, chopped or snipped

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, salt it, and cook the potatoes until tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Heat a deep, large skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, to the skillet. Add bacon and brown it up, then add ground turkey to the pan and break it up. Season the turkey with smoked paprika, salt and pepper and thyme. When turkey browns up, add: onions, carrots, celery. Season the veggies with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes, then add red pepper and peas cook another 2 minutes. Stir in flour and cook flour 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and combine. Add 1/2 cup of sour cream and combine. Simmer mixture over low heat. Preheat your broiler to high.

When potatoes are tender, add a ladle of cooking water to the egg. Drain potatoes and return to the warm pot to dry them out a little. Add remaining 1/2 cup sour cream, butter, half of the chives, and salt and pepper. Smash and mash the potatoes, mashing in the beaten, tempered egg. If the potatoes are too tight, mix in a splash of milk.

Pour turkey mixture into a medium casserole dish. Top turkey with an even layer of smashed potatoes and place casserole 5 inches from hot broiler. Broil the potatoes until golden at edges and remove the casserole from the oven. Garnish the casserole with the remaining chives and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.

What I did differently:
- I used extra lean ground beef instead of Turkey. The grocery store was out of ground turkey for the second time in a row! boo!
- I used reduced fat sour cream
- I used fat free chicken broth

What I did wrong:
- You say potato...I say disaster! PUT THE POTATOES ON FIRST THING. I was a little bit absent minded and forgot about the potatoes till mid way through the beef cookin' process. Not only did I put them on late, but I did not have NEARLY enough potato for the liquids you add in according the the recipe. I should've sliced up two more potatoes. Having the potatoes go on late wasn't all bad because it let the beef mixture thicken up a bit, but boy were they RUNNY!

- Broiler Boo Boo...I have never used a broiler. Remember, I'm really new to this cooking thing. Let's just say my pie was very very crusty on top! I left it in there waaaay too long.

- I am very happy the the tragedies of the recipe had nothing to do with my substitution

Here's What I Got: (Warning...looks gross, tastes me)

Meat Mixture Simmering:
The bacon and smokey seasonings in this really made my kitchen smell wonderful.

Potato Soup instead of Mashed Potatoes:

Ready for some toppin'...

Those are not delicious cheesecake brownies, that is one charred set of soupy mashed potatoes!

Luckily, it peeled off quite easily:

Salvaged Finished Product: YUM!

What I Learned:
- Don't leave anything in the broiler for very long!
- Next time, I'll start my potatoes early and be generous with the amount used
- Seasonings REALLY make a recipe delicious. The Thyme, Cumin, Paprika, and S&P make this seriously jam packed with delicious flavor

Let me know if you've had any similar tragedies ;)

Thanks for stopping by!


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