Friday, November 26, 2010

Leftover Thanksgiving Turkey Shepherd's Pie

My husband loves turkey.  What does this mean?  Even though we attend Thanksgiving at any one of five family dinners, we have to make our own turkey to truly satiate his turkey addiction.  I suppose I'm lucky this isn't a year-round obsession.  Two people attempting to eat a 14 pound turkey?  I'll leave it at, we have leftovers.

So I'm passing along to you, an incredibly fast and easy way to get rid of your Turkey Day leftovers (without using the garbage or compost).

What you will need:


Turkey:  approximately 2 1/2 cups of turkey, shredded by hand
Mashed Potatoes - approximately 3 cups
Gravy: 1 cup
Stuffing (optional):  1 1/2 cups

Additional Ingredients:

1 large carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp Thyme
1 cup shredded Irish cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste

If you don't have leftover mashed potatoes (I didn't) then you will also need these:

5 medium potatoes
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. butter

If you're missing the mashed potatoes, start here.  If not, you can move to the next section:

Peel and chop five medium potatoes into quarters.  Toss into a pot of boiling water and cook until tender.

Drain, add one cup of milk, two tablespoons of butter (I honestly just pour milk in and glob some butter in to my own merriment) and salt and pepper to taste.  Get out your hand masher (you can also use a food processor for super smooth potatoes) and get your best Popeye arm muscles out and start mashing.  Once this is done and you've tasted the potatoes several time to deem this delicious, you can move on.

Life is pretty simple from here.  Take your sliced carrots, celery and chicken stock, and dried Thyme and add them to a deep skillet.  Simmer these together until the carrots soften, about twenty minutes.  If your liquid gets a bit low, feel free to add more chicken stock.  You won't need to add salt to this part of the dish as the chicken stock should contain plenty for just about anyone.  

You can now add your turkey.  I shred mine by hand as I throw it in.  You could also chop it if you prefer to keep your nails turkey free.

Your turkey should be nice and juicy now.  This is where, if you have leftover gravy, you will stir it in.  If you don't, no worries.  Just add a little more chicken stock, maybe a little butter, and a little flour and let it simmer to create a cream sauce within your mixture.  You'll want a little excess sauce so that if you picked up a scoop with a slotted spoon, gravy deliciousness would be dripping through.

Layering time.  Get out a baking dish and dump your mixture in.

If you have leftover stuffing, layer this on next.  After the stuffing, add the mashed potatoes.

Final step, add the shredded Irish cheddar cheese to the top.  Toss into the oven at 375F for 20 minutes.  At the end, change your oven's setting to broil and watch closely as the cheese turns a lovely bubbly brown.  You'll want to watch closely because this will happen quickly and if you decide to step out of the room to do something else, you may return to flambé.  Once you see the level of browned cheese you desire, pull out of the oven.  Can be served immediately.  Enjoy your turkey Irish style!

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