Friday, December 13, 2013

Shepherd's Pie from Turkey Day Leftovers - Church PotLuck Main Course

Pin It Now!

OK... First let me address the beer.  I like to cook with beer.  I even like to cook with beer when I know that the dish will be served to good Christian women at a Church potluck meal.  But I only do this when the beer is going to simmer, which allows the alcohol to burn off.  Almost any dish that uses Vanilla Extract (which has a high alcohol content) will have more actual alcohol than this dish.

BUT... If you prefer, feel free to substitute Chicken Stock for the beer in this recipe.  WIll not have as robust a flavor, but will still be mighty tasty.

As to the beer of choice for this, select a DARK beer, a stout or as in this case a Porter.  I like to shop local for fresh produce and for my beer.  Kansas City's own, Boulevard Brewing Company makes a delicious BULLY! PORTER beer that is excellent for cooking.  Makes a wonderful gravy for this dish.

And speaking of this dish... WOW... makes me want to make extra food just so I can use the leftovers.  Two types of potatoes and lots of turkey are combined for a hearty stick to your ribs meal in a single dish.

While I made this with the leftover turkey, year round I have been known to make this dish with pulled pork, ground beef, rotisserie chicken... I even cut the ingredients down to make a single serving size when I had less leftovers.

It is a beautiful dish with the ring of sweet potatoes and the crusty topping, accented with some red seasonings (Cajun for the bold or simple paprika if you like).  The filling in the dish is a loaded up pot pie filling flavored with a robust stout gravy and all the vegetables a mother could love.

Highly recommended, so good you will forget you are eating leftovers!

OK... Here's what I did...

Shepherd's Pie from Turkey Day Leftovers

  • For the Potato Topping
  • @4-6 Cups Smashed Potatoes
  • @203 Cups Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 TBS Dried Chives spice
  • 1 pinch Cajun Spice mix (Can substitute Paprika only)
  • For the Filling
  • 4 Cups Left over Fully Cooked Turkey, shredded and chopped into bite size bits
  • 1/2 Pound Thick SLiced Bacon, diced and sauted
  • 1 Medium Red Onion, Diced
  • 2 Large Carrots, Diced
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Diced
  • 4 Ounces Mushrooms, Chopped
  • 1 Small can Tomato Paste
  • 1 Bottle of Stout Beer, I used Boulevard Bully! Porter
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Cup Frozen Peas (or leftovers)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn (or leftovers)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a LARGE Skillet, Saute the chopped bacon until fully cooked. Remove the bacon to drain, but reserve the Bacon Fat in the skillet.
  2. Add the chopped Onions, Carrots and Celery. Saute for about 5 minutes until the onions soften and turn translucent.
  3. Add the Mushrooms, Tomato paste, Worcestershire Sauce and the bottle of Beer. Stir to mix and set to simmer.
  4. When the liquid has reduced by about half (it took me about 30 minutes... could be less or more, depending on how gentle (or rolling) your simmer is)),
  5. Now, add the chopped Turkey and the frozen peas and corn, Stir to mix. The turkey will absorb most of the reduced beer. AT this stage you have a choice, continue to saute and simmer for a "less wet" consistency (the way I like it), or remove from the heat now for a more stew like consistency.
  6. Pour the turkey mixture into a LARGE Casserole dish. Top/Line edge of the dish with the sweet potatoes, then the center with the smashed potatoes.
  7. Add a generous sprinkle of chives over the entire top and a pinch of the red Cajun spice mix (can substitute just Paprika) more just the center.
  8. Bake until topping is golden in a 350 degree oven, about 40 minutes.
  9. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving, serve HOT and Enjoy!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,
"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


So,  I am also pleased to list this as one of my Growing list of  "52 Cooking With BEER Recipes"!!!

Everyone knows about cooking with wine, but BEER has so much more complex flavors.  I imagine the day after beer was invented, someone made an Irish Stew. Cooking with beer infuses recipes with this intoxicating concoction of hops and barley in an effort to enhance and enrich everyday food..  Come take a look, sure to have something you might like to try.  All recipes have been tested and WORK!


Come and find me on Pinterest... Any of my "52 Ways to cook" Boards are worth following.  If you like this post, please take a second and "Pin" this to your own boards... Better yet, if you are part of a foodie group board please take a second and add this post to your group pins... best way to show your Love!

And BTW, if you are not yet part of a group board, drop me an email at and request to be added to my group board... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! (be sure to include your pinterest ID when you write)  Once you are added, any pins you add will be seen by 10s of THOUSANDS of followers of the board (and growing daily).

Rules, only 2... 
  1. In order to join you need to start following the group board as well as at least one of my boards.
  2. And you must ONLY pin original sources, posts from food related bloggers only.  If you are a blogger, this is a great way to have thousands of potential readers see your work,  If you are a fan of bloggers, a great way to share your favorites...
    Come and be a part of ... FAVORITE FOOD BLOGGERS! on Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment