Monday, March 26, 2012

Shepherd's Pie (aka Superman Pie)

This dish brings back so many memories of childhood.  My mom made a very simple version and it was always good to feed our large family.  She’d layer cooked ground beef and a can of creamed corn and top it with mashed potatoes and some cheese and then heat it up.  Of course, once we got tired of having it too often, my mom came up with a clever idea (which you may borrow).  She told us we were having Superman Pie for dinner –we were so excited that we didn’t mind it was shepherd’s pie.  The next time, it was Wonder Woman Pie…and so on.  Or, she’d let us do the honors and we’d all be so excited to eat the dinner that we got to name!

This is a recipe that Jenn H. pointed out to me on the Food Network website.  Well, it didn’t start out this way – she substituted cauliflower for potatoes and turkey for the beef and when she told me about it I went crazy for the idea and had to make it for myself and then share it all with you.   The great thing about this was that I could sub whatever I had one hand - no carrots, so I used celery, no peas, so I used some chopped green beans and I added a small can of drained mushrooms.

Oh, and if I may take a moment - both Bubba and Kid thought this was the very best Shepherd's Pie I'd ever made!  Neither of them had any clue it was turkey and cauliflower.  And it made wonderful leftovers the next day for lunch as we listened to the cold rain pouring down...

Shepherd's Pie
6-8 servings

1 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream or softened cream cheese
1/2 cup cream or milk
2 tablespoons butter
garlic salt and pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (I used seasoned salt)
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 cup beef stock or broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (or sub 2 teaspoons dried)

Boil cauliflower until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, return to pan and add sour cream, milk and butter and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.  Season to taste.

While the cauliflower boils, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with turkey.  Season meat with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small pan or measuring cup warm up the broth and Worcestershire sauce.  Pour into the meat mixture, then drizzle in the cornstarch/water mixture and stir about 1 minute.  Stir in peas.

Preheat broiler to high. Grease a small rectangular casserole and add meat and vegetable mixture. Spoon cauliflower over meat evenly (you may not use it all). Top cauliflower with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. Top casserole dish with chopped parsley and serve.

1 cup serving = 1 protein, 2 veggie and 1/2 fat serving

Print the recipe here:  Shepherd's Pie


  1. Yay! Glad it was a success :) I, too, didn't have any carrots and left those out completely. We loved it with just the peas & onions, but great idea about being able to sub whatever veggies you have on hand!

  2. I made this yesterday, with a couple of substitutions -- ground beef (can't get ground turkey in South America) and fresh green beans instead of peas (I had some that needed to get used up!). I ran the cauliflower through my Vita-Mix (or could use food processor) for a finer puree so my son wouldn't recognize them! As with all the recipes I've tried so far, it was a hit! Thanks, Joley!