Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Italian Shepherd's Pie

Italian Shepherd's Pie
This Italian shepherd’s pie recipe is like a marriage between classic shepherd’s pie and lasagna Bolognese.  I was just about to make my mom’s version of shepherd’s pie for dinner but had planned to use ground turkey instead of beef.   Her classic version involved ground beef, a bag of classic frozen mixed veggies and rich brown gravy with creamy mashed potatoes on top.  I began wondering what would happen if the bottom layer was made with the flavors of a classic Bolognese sauce with a few extra veggies and the top layer mingled ricotta and garlic with those mashed potatoes.  The end result was phenomenal.  If you want a new take on a classic dish, you’ve just got to try this one.   

Ingredients list
·         20oz lean ground turkey
·         2 carrots diced                                                                               
·         2 ribs celery diced                  
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         1 small zucchini all diced
·         4 cloves garlic, minced (1 for the meat layer, 3 in the potatoes)
·         1 cup peas these are frozen peas
·         1 cup tomato sauce
·         1 tsp beef bouillon
·         ½ cup red wine
·         1 cup milk, ( ½ cup in the meat layer, ½ cup in the potatoes)
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         2 lbs of potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
·         ¾ cup  ricotta, part skim
·         2 tbsp butter
·         1 egg yolk
·         salt & pepper to taste

Video Tutorial:


1.      Preheat the oven to 375°F  or 190 °C
2.      Add the potatoes and the 3 halved garlic cloves of to a large pot of salted water and put it on the stove to boil.  Then in a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese, diced butter, egg yolk, ½ cup milk, salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.  
3.      In a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray crumble and brown the turkey with the bouillon powder.  If the pan is very dry add a tablespoon or two of olive oil. 
4.      Once the turkey is nicely browned add the garlic and all of the diced veggies and sauté for five minutes.  Add the wine and simmer for 2 minutes then add the tomato sauce and ½ cup of milk, stir to combine, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes then stir in the peas and remove from the heat. 
5.      Once the potatoes are fork tender, drain them and return them to the pot and begin mashing then add the ricotta mixture and continue mashing until you’ve achieved your desired consistency  then add additional salt and pepper if needed.
6.      Spoon the meat mixture into the bottom of a greased 10 X 10 inch baking dish.  Top with the mashed potatoes and bake uncovered at 375°F or 190 °C for 25 minutes.  Let it cool for 10 minutes before serving. 


  1. I had shepperds pie last night.I loev the combination u used here;)

  2. Thanks Dzoli, I wasn't sure the combo would work but it turned out quite well. Sometimes it's good to experiment.

  3. Thanks Joe, This was one of my better ideas. The bad ideas never make it to the blog if you know what I mean.


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