Friday, October 8, 2010

Is it Shepherd's Pie or Pastelon De Papa?

Okay, so I realize that this is not the traditional "Shepherd's Pie". Those who truly know their stuff will tell you that Shepherd's pie is actually made with lamb and the variation that we typically see made with ground beef is actually supposed be to be called Cottage Pie. After careful research on Wikipedia (insert grin here), I realized that what I make is more like a pastelon de papa. In the Dominican Republic this means "potato casserole" which includes a layer of meat, a layer of potatoes and a layer of cheese. It doesn't mention if they include veggies, but I suppose if nothing else I learned something new!

Shepherd's Pie a.k.a Pastelon De Papa
(did you ever notice that when you say something in another language you suddenly take on an accent? no? okay, carry on)

  • 1 pound ground turkey (93% lean is a good I used 99% lean which is a little my dry)
  • 2 carrots peeled and then shredded
  • 1/2 of a large zucchini shredded or one small shredded
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 1/4 tsp kosher salt + additional for finishing
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper + additional for finishing
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic + 1 peeled clove for potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • approximately 3 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup milk

Peel potatoes, rinse, cut in quarters and cover with cold water. Peel a clove of garlic and add in (unchopped) to the pot of potatoes. This will give the potatoes a slight garlic flavor. Cook about 35-40 minutes or until fork tender but not mushy. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat your skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Dice onion. Add onion and ground turkey to the pan. Season the ground turkey with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.

Cook ground turkey mixture until it is no longer pink. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes. Save any pan drippings because you will be using this pan again in a minute. I used a 8x10 casserole pan but a 9x13 would work fine too. Spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray and spread the turkey mixture over the bottom.

Peel the carrots. Grate carrots and zucchini.

Using the same skillet that you cooked the ground turkey in, add another tablespoon of butter. Add carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers, and corn. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the red bell pepper has softened up slightly.

Remove from the heat and spread the vegetables over the turkey mixture in the casserole pan.

Hopefully you haven't forgotten about your boiling potatoes~ check them to see if they are done. If they are then remove the clove of garlic and continue on ...

This is where my daily tip from the other day comes in handy. I told you about my potato ricer. You can read the tip here. Drain the potatoes and either use your potato ricer or mash as you normally would. I added 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter to my potatoes. Season with salt & pepper.

If you are using the potato ricer this is a breeze. All it will take is the simple back of a spoon to smooth out your potatoes.

Drop the potatoes by big spoonfuls onto the vegetable layer of your casserole. Then you can spread it out using a spatula. If you use this method you will be less likely to blend the two layers together.

Take 1 tablespoon of butter and cut into pieces. Dot the top of the casserole with the butter, season with a pinch of salt & pepper and then sprinkle it with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake in the oven @ 375 degrees for about 35 minutes or until it is hot, bubbly and the cheese is golden.


Lisa said...

I can totally see the giant's wife from Jack and the beanstalk serving this dish for her man

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