Turkey Colcannon Shepard’s Pie; or, “Frankenrecipe”

I’m calling this a “Frankenrecipe” for two reasons.  One, it ended up being a combination of colcannon (an Irish dish; usually kale or cabbage in mashed potatoes) and Shepard’s pie.  Two, I pretty much just tossed in all the odds and ends in the refrigerator, and if I’d had different vegetables on hand, I could still have made it.  Plus, it’s fun to say “Frankenrecipe”.  Try it!

I’m sorry to say that I don’t have good measurements for this Frankenrecipe.  I really just made it up as I went along.  Here’s the deal:  It’s Friday.  I came home from work tired and went right into pajamas.  I thought about ordering a pizza, but I still have so much good food from my last CSA box that I couldn’t bear to not use it!

Plus, since I quit drinking pop and started tracking calories about 2 weeks ago, I have lost almost 7 pounds!  I can’t ruin that with a pizza just because I’m lazy.

So, I started going though the fridge.  Hmmm…ground turkey, okay…half a bag of carrots, potatoes and onions from CSA…ooooh, I forgot about the CSA cabbage!  What else is in here…asparagus, yep.  I probably have some frozen peas – there they are.  Wow, I actually have chicken broth?  Fabulous.  (This is a recreation of my internal dialogue, by the way.)

I’ve been thinking about making colcannon since I first started getting cabbage in my CSA boxes.  If I’m going to make mashed potatoes, why not a Shepard’s pie?  What better way to use all this stuff?  And with no real plan, I just started chopping.

When I make mashed potatoes, I like potatoes with the skins on, and with a good texture.  Because I don’t like too much potato skin, I’ve developed a weird habit of partially peeling potatoes (that’s a tongue twister!) before I boil them for mashing; like this:

These were bigger potatoes, so I quartered them before throwing them in a pot, covering them with water and putting it on the heat.

While the potatoes were cooking, I chopped the carrots, onions, asparagus, cabbage and garlic (about 4 cloves).

I browned the ground turkey with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, sage and some nutmeg (I don’t know why I went for nutmeg, it just seemed right), then removed it from the pan.

In the same pan, I sautéed the carrots, onions and garlic (with a little salt and pepper) until they started to get soft.  Then I added the asparagus and a couple big spoonfuls of flour so it could cook with the veggies (and eventually thicken the sauce).

After that cooked together for a few minutes, I added most of a box of chicken broth and a couple of glugs of (cheap) white wine.  It’s also rumored that I may have had a glass (or two) of wine, but you can’t prove it and I’m not admitting anything.

Once the liquid was added to the veggies, I turned the heat on high to bring it up to a boil.

Back to the potatoes:  Once the potatoes got soft enough to mash, I dumped them into a colander.  I put the potato pot back on the oven over medium heat, added a little olive oil and tossed in the cabbage to cook. Oh yeah, I added a bit of salt and pepper to the cabbage.  In case you were wondering, cabbage turns a really pretty bright green when you saute it with a little oil.  Awesome!

It only took the cabbage a couple of minutes to get nice and soft.  I turned off the heat, added the potatoes back to the pot and tossed in about 2/3 a stick of butter (it’s what was in the butter dish).  Then I mashed, with my trusty masher (featured in the picture below).

Like I said, I like my mashed potatoes to have a good texture.  I very rarely add milk when I’m mashing, just butter.  But that’s just my preference – you do what you like!

Back to the veggie concoction:  When it came to a boil, I added the ground turkey back in, and added a dollop of frozen peas (I just poured from the bag until I thought there were enough peas.  I let it boil for a few minutes to reduce the sauce.

When I thought the sauce was thick enough, I poured this into a casserole dish and topped it with the mashed cabbage-and-potatoes.  Everything was hot, so I just put the whole thing under the broiler for a couple of minutes to brown the top of the potatoes a bit.

And there it is.  Now I have dinner, leftovers and a clean refrigerator!  What could be better than that?


7 thoughts on “Turkey Colcannon Shepard’s Pie; or, “Frankenrecipe”

  1. andrewsbeth

    Love this post!!! Love the casserole dish. And by your descriptions, I think I can smell it cooking! What a great way to use up so many good veggies. Hope you enjoyed the wine!! Mom


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