I think I enjoy the cooking more than eating, there is nothing better than to watch the smile grow after someone’s first bite. Note from Steve: I am a flow of thought writer and apologize up front if I lose you. My family is used to it.
Got some ground turkey from a ButcherBox super sale and decide to use some and try a Shepherd’s Pie for the first time. Lyn usually made this using Lamb. I suppose you could use any ground meat. I had made a huge batch of mashed potatoes yesterday and used leftover for this. When very young my son insisted that everything be separate on the plate he had some rule about mixing foods. he also hated fat but loved pepperoni and Asian style ribs you known the red ones, which could be very fatty. Anyway I found a recipe and it had one of those handy how many you’re cooking for scalers so this is for TWO. I made some turkey burger patties for lunch today.
Ingredients for 2 servings
0.67 tablespoons olive oil
0.33 cup chopped yellow onion
0.33 lb. 90% lean ground turkey, beef or ground lamb
0.67 teaspoons dried parsley leaves
0.33 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
0.33 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
0.17 teaspoon salt
0.17 teaspoon ground black pepper
0.33 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
0.67 garlic cloves -minced
0.67 tablespoons all purpose flour
0.67 tablespoons tomato paste
0.33 cup beef broth
0.33 cup frozen mixed peas & carrots Note: Did not have frozen carrots so I saluted with the onions
0.17 cup frozen corn kernels
*Note: I used 2% milk and added the cheese
0.5 – 0.67 lb. russet potatoes -about 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2.67 tablespoons unsalted butter -1 stick
0.11 cup half & half *
0.17 teaspoon garlic powder Note: I usually add 1-2 cloves when boiling potatoes so left powder out.
0.17 teaspoon salt
0.08 teaspoon ground black pepper
0.08 cup parmesan cheese
Make the Meat Filling.
Add the oil to a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the ground turkey to the skillet and break it apart with a wooden spoon. Add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, and and pepper. Stir well. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until the meat is browned, stirring occasionally.
Add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
Add the flour and tomato paste. Stir until well incorporated and no clumps of tomato paste remain.
Add the broth, frozen peas and carrots, and frozen corn. Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Set the meat mixture aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Make the potato topping.
Place the potatoes in a large pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, 10-15 minutes.
Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return the potatoes to the hot pot. Let the potatoes rest in the hot pot for 1 minute to evaporate any remaining liquid.
Add butter, half & half, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes and stir until all the ingredients are mixed together.
Add the parmesan cheese to the potatoes. Stir until well combined.
Assemble the casserole.
Pour the meat mixture into a 9×9 (or 7×11) inch baking dish. Spread it out into an even layer. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat. Carefully spread into an even layer.
If the baking dish looks very full, place it on a rimmed baking sheet so that the filling doesn’t bubble over into your oven. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.** Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Separate tenderloins, pat dry with paper towels and season with salt, freshly cracked black pepper on all sides and ends.
Melt butter and add the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and sear the tenderloin on all sides and ends.
Pour the white wine (Pinot Grigio used), thyme and chicken stock into the skillet and bake at 400° for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk the apricot preserves and Dijon mustard together. Brush over the top, sides and ends of the tenderloins and continue baking another 10-15 minutes or until the tenderloins are done as you like:145° medium rare, 150° medium, 155-160° well done/no pink
Remove from the oven, allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
What do you do with a giant butternut squash? I peeled, chopped in chunks and had 6+ cups of squash. I usually make Butternut squash and apple soup but I had no green apples so I used some honey crisp apples. I think my hand slipped and I went heavy on the soup spice so it came our pretty hot and spicy
2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter (We keep butter in the freezer since we don’t use it all the time)
1 ½ cups roughly chopped sweet onions
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
6 cups peeled and roughly diced butternut squash (I like to buy the squash with a long neck this part has no seeds and usually can get enough for what I need. The bottom I save for roasted later.)
3 cups peeled and roughly diced honey crisp apples (about 3 apples)
2 tsp. Toasted Spice Rub, recipe below. ( I make a lot and store with my spices for future use.) This is where I messed up went with TBS not tsp. Cleared the sinuses.
About 30 to 32 ounces low sodium, low-fat chicken broth or you can use vegetable broth.
2 cups of water to add to the broth.
Salt and pepper to taste (Don’t add until you taste finished soup a lot of times it really does not need)
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat, and cook until it turns nut brown, just about the time it stops foaming. Add the sweet onions and cook until slightly softened, about 2-4 minutes. Add the garlic until you smell it 10-20 seconds
Now add the squash and apples, raise temp to high, and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to caramelize, about 5-8 minutes. Stir in the Toasted Spice Rub and cook briefly to toast it, about 1 minute.
Add the broth-water mixture, bring to a simmer, and partially cover (use a wooden spoon across the pot rest the cover on that. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the squash and apples are tender, about 40 minutes.
In about 3 or 4 batches transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to a pot, reheat and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Toasted Spice Rub
¼ cup fennel seeds
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. black peppercorns ( I have made with a mixture of pepper corns not bad)
1 1/82 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. ground Cinnamon
In a small heavy pan over medium heat, combine the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. When the fennel turns light brown, work quickly. Learned this during my Chinese wok cooking stage, turn on the exhaust fan; add the red pepper flakes, and toss, toss, toss, always under the fan. Having trouble breathing? I said under the exhaust fan silly, I did bold it!” Immediately empty the spice mixture onto a plate to cool. I have a small coffee grinder for grinding spices; grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining chili powder, cinnamon and salt. You can use a blender and blend until the spices are evenly ground. Either way works for me.