This isn't a traditional shepherd's pie, just something I made up. (Why do I even bother saying that any more?) I wanted to use ground turkey, and still come up with something that was dark and rich on the bottom layer, without being too fatty. It came out so well that I actually wrote it all down immediately so that I wouldn't forget what I did (and if you know me, you know that I never do that.)
1/2-1 cup carrot
2 celery ribs
2 cloves garlic
1/2 white or yellow onion
1/2 cup parsely
1 package ground turkey, as lean as you like
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Abita Turbodog or other dark mahogany beer (Raison D'être by Dogfish Head is great, too)
1/4 cup or more red wine
flour (about 3 Tablesp.) and butter (about 2 Tablesp.)
1 large can of peas and carrots
Seasonings (about a halt Tablesp. each):
salt and pepper
6 Yukon Gold potatoes
1 "brick" cream cheese, or 1 cup sour cream (light is fine with either)
chicken broth (about 1 cup)
salt and pepper
Pulse the first five ingredients (washed) in the food processor until finely diced. Sauté them in a little olive oil, add the turkey and brown it. Add the seasonings (just a good "shake" of each.) Add about three tablespoons of flour, combine the mixture, add the butter, and combine it again. Then, add the ketchup, then wine, then the beer, letting each heat through before adding the next. Then add chicken stock or broth a little at a time. The mixture should be a thick, dark sauce.
Pour the mixture into a deep lasagna pan, and add the canned peas and carrots (rinsed and drained). I used canned vegetables here, because I wanted that English, "tinned" feel to it... Or maybe it just reminded me more of the school lunchroom. Anyway, you could certainly use frozen or fresh.
Clean the potatoes and dice them (I like to leave the skins on). Boil the potatoes, drain and smash them, using the rest of the ingredients on the list. Add chicken stock until they are the thickness you want (they should still form stiff peaks). Then dollop it into the pan and spread it out over the meat mixture. Top with shredded parmesan cheese, and bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, broiling briefly at the end to brown the cheese.
I really loved this, and I think Chris did, too. I didn't miss the beef a bit. Perfect for a cold evening, and a big serving of it made a nice lunch to take along the next day.