Turkey Herder Pie

Published December 5, 2011 by livinggraciously

If I’m going to be serious about writing a food blog, I really have to learn to take pictures of my cooking while I’m doing it. But alas, this dish was not captured in the wild.

Nevertheless, I have to write it up. Because Ferrett has declared it the best turkey pot pie ever. And the dinner guests who ate it with us pretty much agreed.

I know you’re thinking, “Turkey pot pie for company? Seriously?” And, yes, it is rather a humble dish. But I had rather a crazy, stressful day of working that required a lot of driving, and while I was driving around I started dreaming up this dish. I was definitely in a comforting food mood, and I wanted to make a dent in the leftovers from Thanksgiving. This is where things got a bit more interesting.

Because one of the leftover I had in abundance was mashed potatoes. With my acute judgment of proper food amounts, I encouraged Ferrett to cook enough mashed potatoes to feed the Duggars. So there was rather a lot of them left.

That’s why this dish was not a classic pot pie. It was, instead, a hybrid between that and a shepherd’s pie — hence the name.

Now, I could just give you a list of ingredients, but then I thought about Erin and her desire to learn to cook, and thought I’d give a little more of a cooking lesson on how to pull together a dish like this, and how to make it all work.

First of all, I knew that I didn’t want to make this in a regular pie tin. I wanted to make more pie than that–enough for dinner and a good bunch of leftovers. So I used an oval 8″x13″ baking pan. I sprayed it with cooking spray and pressed the mashed potatoes into the bottom of the pan and set it aside.

The next step is mise en place, the preparation of ingredients for the cooking process. Taking the time to chop and prepare everything before you start cooking makes everything a hundred times easier. It might seem to take up a lot of bowls and a lot of time in order to get everything set up, once the cooking starts the time is definitely worth it.

That’s not to say that everything has to go into separate bowls, only separated by the cooking time. So this is how the ingredients went in.

First bowl:

  • Large onion, diced
  • Head of garlic, chopped (yes, a whole head)
  • 3 Carrots, peeled and diced

Second bowl:

  • Several stalks of bok choy, leaves removed and sliced (I don’t like celery, so I substitute bok choy)
  • Green beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • Mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • Cooked turkey, diced

(No, I have no exact measurements. I don’t cook that way, and I believe in learning to guesstimate. You don’t have to use the exact same vegetables, either. Feel free to experiment)

Saute the first bowl’s ingredients in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil until the onions are soft and slightly browned. Add the ingredients from the second bowl and cook until they are softened.

Push all the ingredients to the sides of the pan and make a roux in the middle of the pan: melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the center, add three tablespoons of flour, stir together and cook until slightly browning, then incorporate with the vegetables. Add chicken stock, probably 1-1/2 to 2 cups, just enough to make it thick, then add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of heavy cream – the flavor intensity is totally worth the small amount of heavy cream in one of 8 servings. Season with rosemary and a little bay, maybe some tarragon, but don’t have too heavy a hand with the herbs. Salt and pepper to taste. Adjust to proper thickness.

Once all this is warmed through, ladle over the potatoes. Over this, place a pie crust rolled to the proper size for your baking dish. Yes, you should take the time to make your own pie crust. It’s much tastier, and flakier, than a purchased crust. Slice several vent slashes into the crust and bake at 375 degrees for half and hour to 45 minutes.

I served this with fresh bread and a green salad. It easily would have served 8, and Ferrett and I ate it the next day for both lunch and dinner.

All Ferrett wants to know is when we can have it again.


2 comments on “Turkey Herder Pie

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