Shepherding in Fall

On this cold, gray, drizzly day, I can’t help but think of my two high school boys who have cross-country practice after school. As I picture them trotting along a nearby forest preserve trail in just t-shirts and shorts, damp with sweat and mist, and possibly a leaf or two stuck in their hair, one thought keeps crossing my mind.

I’m so glad it’s them and not me.

Mean?  Perhaps. But trust me, if our roles were reversed, I am quite confident that they would not be planning on warming me from the inside out with a yummy casserole for dinner once I got home.

I have not tried this recipe before. What intrigued me was the way it takes one of my boys’ favorite dishes – Sheperd’s Pie – and morphs it into a nutrient-packed quasi dessert of a meal.

There’s just one problem. Do I serve it with a side of whipped cream or dinner rolls?

No matter. One look out the window tells me a couple of dry towels will do…

Fall Sheperd’s Pie (recipe from TheFoodInMyBeard and found on Tablespoon)

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8


Photo credit: TheFoodInMyBeard (

2 lbs ground turkey
3 celery ribs, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
1 box chicken stock
1 bag frozen corn
1 bag dried cranberries
4 sweet potatoes
1 russet potato
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch allspice
1 cup milk
1/2 stick butter


  1. Scrub potatoes and bake in 350 oven until tender (for me, this took about an hour and a half, because I neglected to poke them with a fork).
  2. Brown the turkey and remove from pan. Cook the celery, onions and carrots.
  3. Add the butter, then once melted, whisk in the flour. Let this cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add the meat back into the pan and add the stock. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, mash them in a bowl with a half a stick of butter and milk. Mix in the cinnamon and allspice.
  6. Add the turkey mixture to the bottom of a casserole dish.
  7. Mix together the corn and cranberries, then add them on top of the turkey.
  8. Add the mashed potatoes to the top and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top starts to brown. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

I know there are a lot of “abouts” in this recipe, but such is the nature of Sheperd’s Pie. And that’s why it’s our favorite.


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