THE IRISH HAVE BEEN IN THE FIRE SERVICE FOR A VERY LONG TIME, WITH DEEP ROOTED TRADITIONS THAT EVEN THE NON-IRISH PARTICIPATE IN, MYSELF INCLUDED. THE PIPES AND DRUMS HAVE BECOME SYNONYMOUS WITH CELEBRATORY OCCASIONS AND FUNERALS. EVERY YEAR THOUSANDS OF FIREFIGHTERS TRAVEL ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MARCH IN PARADES. ACROSS FIREHOUSE TABLES ON ST. PATRICK'S DAY, THERE WILL BE CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE, SHEPHERD'S PIE AND PROBABLY A GOOD OL' FASHIONED FRY UP FOR BREAKFAST.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS TO DO IS TAKE TRADITIONAL DISHES AND PUT A HEALTHY SPIN ON IT....SO SWEET POTATO-TURKEY SHEPHERD'S PIE IT IS!! SWAPPING IN SWEET POTATOES ADDS MORE FIBER, WHILE USING TURKEY INSTEAD OF BEEF OR LAMB ADDS PROTEIN WITH LESS FAT. GIVE IT A TRY!!
SWEET POTATO-TURKEY SHEPHERD'S PIE
1.5 Lb. Ground Turkey
6 Sweet Potatoes
½ Yellow Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, diced
4 Medium Carrots, peeled and diced
8 oz. Mushrooms, quartered
10 oz. Frozen Peas
10 oz. Frozen Corn
2 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary- leaves removed and finely chopped
14.5 Can of Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Paprika
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp. Flour
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 500*
In a large pot, place sweet potatoes with enough cold water to cover. Salt the water like you would pasta water. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook until soft, approximately 30 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
While the potatoes are cooking, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add a couple glugs of olive oil. When the oil is shimmering add the ground turkey, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. When the turkey starts to brown, stir it until cooked through and set aside. In the same pan add a little more olive oil and the onions and carrots. When the onions are translucent add the mushrooms and saute until nicely browned and no moisture is left in the pan. Add the garlic and rosemary, stirring often.
Now add the turkey back to the pan with the peas and corn. Sprinkle the flour in, stir and cook for a minute or so. Add in the broth, bring to a boil and lower to a simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Place mixture in an oven-proof baking dish or tray.
Now that the potatoes have cooled, peel the skin (you could chop the skin and add to turkey mixture for extra nutrients). In a large bowl add the potato flesh, a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt and the spices. Mash with a fork, taste and adjust seasoning. Spread on top of the turkey mixture. For a nicer presentation place the potato in a ziploc bag, cut one corner tip of the bag and squeeze the mixture on top of turkey like a pastry bag.
Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the top has browned. You can also use the broiler if you have one. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.