Turkey Herder Pie

With bare cupboards, a grumbling stomach, and no idea what to make for dinner, I somehow managed to throw this shepherd’s pie clone together in about 45 minutes. To my utmost astonishment, it didn’t suck. I quickly grabbed a pad of paper and scribbled down the recipe, and because I’m super nice I’m going to share it with you.

Skip to the short version

A completely non-authentic shepherd's pie rip off. We loved it.

A completely non-authentic shepherd’s pie rip off. We loved it.

It was just another regular old Sunday night at home, and there was nothing to eat. The pantry, freezer, and refrigerator were all in that familiar “blah” phase that takes places right before one drags oneself to the store to restock. Just as I was lamenting the grocery situation, my wife Shawn said, “Doesn’t shepherd’s pie sound good?”

” Fire up the broiler and show those stupid potatoes who’s boss “

We had barely any food in the house at all, so shepherd’s pie was very unlikely. “Oh sure, and why don’t we ask Bruce Willis to deliver some for us in a free Rolls Royce?” I said. Well, that’s what my brain wanted to say. My mouth, being tired of constantly getting into trouble thanks to my brain, decided instead to say “Sure, I’ll see what I can come up with.” My brain was horrified. Shawn was right though, shepherd’s pie did sound good.

There are a bajillion recipes out there, each one a little different, but there are some common themes. In a typical shepherd’s pie (aka, cottage pie), there is usually some kind of meat simmered in broth and Worcestershire sauce, some kind of vegetable, cheese or cream, onions, and mashed potatoes. I rummaged the freezer again and came up with some ground turkey I had forgotten about. The spice rack yielded beef bouillon powder and some dehydrated onions, and the pantry coughed up a box of instant potatoes and a can of corn. Well whaddya know. Rock and roll.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp dehydrated minced onions
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp beef bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water (or 1 cup beef broth)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar is best)
  • 2 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brown the turkey in a skillet with the olive oil, dehydrated onions, and garlic powder, being careful not to overcook. When the turkey is barely done (don’t worry, it’ll cook quite a bit longer), add the boullion or broth, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, thyme, and paprika. Stir well and simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 or 15 minutes. Salt to taste and remove from heat.

This is an obligatory picture of cheese.

This is an obligatory picture of cheese.

Layer the meat mixture in the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish and cover with the drained corn. Add the cheese in another even layer, and then carefully spread the mashed potatoes over all of that using a rubber spatula. If you want to get fancy (and who doesn’t), take a fork and lightly scrape the top of the mashed potatoes to give it some texture. The resulting tiny little peaks of mashed potato will get toasty, ramping up the “Wow, look what you made!” factor.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are browned. If they still aren’t browned after 25 minutes, fire up the broiler and show those stupid potatoes who’s boss. Remove from oven, dish up generous scoops of meaty goodness onto whatever plates you happen to have clean, and do be careful not to sear the flesh from the roof of your mouth. If you can come up with a better name than “Turkey Herder Pie”, I’m all ears. That was the best Shawn and I could come up with while under the influence of a respectable post-dinner food coma.

Super awesome tip: If you have a Dutch oven (tee hee), you can make this entire recipe in the one piece of cookware without having to do the skillet-to-baking-dish transfer thing.

Mmm, I do love me some tiny little toasty peaks of mashed potato.

Mmm, I do love me some tiny little toasty peaks of mashed potato.



tl;dr

Turkey herder pie

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp dehydrated minced onions
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp beef bouillon dissolved in 1 cup hot water (or 1 cup beef broth)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground thyme
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 can of corn, drained
  • 1 cup grated cheese (cheddar is best)
  • 2 cups prepared instant mashed potatoes


Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brown turkey in a skillet with the olive oil, dehydrated onions, and garlic powder. Add boullion or broth, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, thyme, and paprika. Stir well and simmer uncovered for 10 or 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Salt to taste and remove from heat. Layer meat mixture in the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish. Cover with drained corn, then cheese, then mashed potato. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until mashed potato layer is lightly browned.



See also


Tater Tot casserole

My wife Shawn and I have a lot in common, especially our tastes in cuisine. We particularly enjoy comfort food type dishes, and we have quite a collection of recipes in this category. We tend to cook these dishes while we are camping (we have a 5th wheel RV trailer the size of Iceland and an equally massive redneck truck to tow it with), so we have dubbed this sort of food “trailer trash”. We love the heck out of it.

Skip to the short version

” If you’re a wimp, top with the recommended two cups of cheese “

This recipe is fits squarely into the above category, and we couldn’t be happier about that. It’s apparently a classic, but it’s a new one on us. The version we initially came across was this one, but you can find unsurprisingly similar recipes here, here, and here. It includes all the cornerstones of blue collar cooking, namely meat, cheese, potatoes, and cream of chicken soup. There is no way this can suck.


Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef (We prefer to use ground turkey. Get over it.)
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (10.75oz) cream of chicken soup.
  • 1 small package (16oz) frozen Tater Tots
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. If you don’t know what “F” means, I’m not going to explain it. That’s your fault for not paying attention in school. In a skillet, sauté the onion in a little butter and olive oil. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. If you prefer a bit more onion-y-ness in your food, brown the beef first and add the onion after. Or, if you are feeling particularly lazy, you can use dehydrated onion instead.

Stir the cream of chicken soup into the ground beef mixture, salt and pepper to taste, and spread evenly in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Top with the frozen Tater Tots in whatever form of symmetry makes you feel good about yourself. In a related side note, do not attempt to eat a frozen Tot – they are crazy disgusting when not cooked. I’ve heard. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the Tater Tots are golden brown. Don’t worry about the cheese, we haven’t forgotten it. That comes next.

omg   cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

omg cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeese

Remove casserole from oven and, if you’re a wimp, top with the recommended two cups of cheese. If, on the other hand, you feel more fiercely independent and confident in your kitchen abilities, add three cups of cheese. OR FOUR. Don’t let some stupid recipe tell you how much cheese is enough – that’s your decision dammit. Once you have added the appropriate amount of cheese, return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, say 5 or 10 minutes.

Serve with a nice… Actually, you know what? Screw the side dishes. This has everything in it already. Just eat it!

Trailer trash heaven on a plate.

Trailer trash heaven on a plate.



tl;dr

Tater Tot casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can (10.75oz) cream of chicken soup.
  • 1 small package (16oz) frozen Tater Tots
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sauté onion in butter and olive oil, add ground beef/turkey and cook until browned. Stir in cream of chicken soup, salt and pepper to taste, and spread evenly in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Top with frozen Tater Tots and bake for 30 minutes or until Tater Tots are golden brown. Remove casserole from oven, top with cheese, and return to oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.



See also