I've actually made this recipe quite a few times now, but just keep on forgetting to blog about it. Rachel Ray's Smokey Turkey Shepherd's Pie is a great recipe that I definitely want to share with you. There is quite a lot of prep needed for the recipe, since there are so many veggies you have to chop up into small similarly sized pieces. I look at it as a good way to practice my knife skills. I would say this recipe takes about an hour and 15 minutes once you've done it a few times and don't need to stop and stare at the directions every 5 seconds to keep cooking.
I usually start the potatoes first since they take the longest. You can three large potatoes, but lately I've been getting a small container of baby Yukon golds and boiling them up. It makes for less chopping since the little ones don't really need cutting up to cook fast.
Another substitution I make is the meat. I started using ground turkey, but since have prepared this with meatloaf mix and ground beef. All three work great and are very yummy.
After I get all the meat and veggies cooking in the pan and get the sauce going at a good simmer, the potatoes are usually fork tender. I let the meat and veggies cook down in the sauce while I mash up the little potatoes with the butter, sour cream and egg. Then they are all ready to go when I want to put everything in the casserole dish.
I do find that I really need to season the meat, veggies and potatoes quite aggressively. For some reason these ingredients seem to be flavor black holes, devouring anything I throw at them. So, in the interest of keeping your family happy, I highly recommend that you season as you go so you get things just right. I add salt and pepper each time you add more ingredients and then taste things to make sure they are to your liking. I for one add at least double if not triple the amount of cumin/paprika, but I know that my husband and I really like highly seasoned foods, so it makes sense.
Finally everything goes into the broiler to get the potatoes all nice and crispy. I usually put this in for 15 to 20 minutes and quite a distance from the heating coils on the oven. You can always put it in for longer, but it's kind of hard to de-char your casserole :-)
I like having my shepherd's pie with salad and maybe another veggie on the side. Seeing as hubbie isn't a bog fan of corn and I absolutely adore it, I just snuck some in on the side for myself the last time.