It’s still miserably cold outside, and more comfort food is in order.  Looking at what I had in to work with I settled on a variation of Shepherd’s Pie, which led to an interesting Facebook conversation.  The basic formula here is a pot pie or casserole with a potato topper.  Neil in Great Britain assures me that  Shepherd’s Pie is traditionally made with lamb and carrots, and that the American version made with beef is really Cottage Pie. What I had was ground turkey, so cousin Corey dubbed this Turkey Wrangler Pie (if you have a better name for a turkey shepherd, let me know!).  My niece Chelsea asks if there is a vegetarian version.

Phew!  So, here’s a link to traditional British Shepherd’s Pie. It’s from the BBC, so I suspect it’s pretty good. Here’s a link to another traditional version if you’re not fond of the BBC. Here’s a link to the recipe I found on McCormick’s website, which is what I started with tonight and is what Neil called Cottage Pie.  And here’s what I actually made, which shall henceforth be known as Wrangler Pie.

Wrangler Pie
1 pound ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups turkey gravy
1 can mixed vegetables
1 can green beans
3 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brown the ground turkey with the onion, being sure the meat is completely cooked.  Drain the two cans of vegetables and add them to the meat with the gravy.

Pour the meat mixture into a 9 x 13″ casserole.  Top with mashed potatoes.  Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Serve hot.

Drake had his with
shredded Cheddar on top.

Now, there’s a lot of shortcutting going on in that recipe. I had a can of generic Veg-All which just didn’t have enough green in it so I dumped the can of green beans in. I had two packets of Idahoan Mashed Potatoes which totaled six servings.  I used McCormick’s Poultry Gravy Mix to make my two cups of gravy.  But the result was a Wrangler Pie so good that even Junior loved it, and he hates gravy, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

One last piece of business: here’s how I’d make it if Chelsea, who is vegetarian, was coming to dinner. This recipe is untried, but should give good results.

Gardener’s Pie
1 package MorningStar Farms Meal Starters
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups vegetarian brown gravy (two packets)
1 can mixed vegetables
1 can green beans
3 cups prepared mashed potatoes

Prepare as for Wrangler Pie, above.  While the crumbles won’t need cooking, you’ll want to heat them up with the onion for flavor.  This one will be more like Cottage Pie.  You can make it vegan instead of vegetarian by omitting the dairy from the mashed potatoes.

Whether you make this with lamb, beef, turkey, or vegetarian meat substitute, you just can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes and gravy on a cold night.

How to tell whether or not your recipe was a success.

 

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