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Paprika Turkey Shepherd’s Pie


For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 pounds ground turkey, a blend of dark and white meat

  • Salt and coarse black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (a scant palmful)

  • 2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika (2 scant palmfuls)

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2 small ribs celery, finely chopped

  • 1 mild frying or bell pepper, finely chopped

  • 2 jalapeños or serrano chili peppers, seeded and chopped

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 large bay leaf

  • 1 small cinnamon stick

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock

  • 1 can crushed or petite diced tomatoes (15 ounces)

For the potato topping:

  • 2-2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 small onion, halved

  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed

  • 1 1/2 cups grated Manchego cheese

  • 1 large egg yolk


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and brown; add salt, coarse black pepper, coriander and paprika. Stir to toast the spices, then add the onion, celery, peppers, garlic, bay and cinnamon stick. Partially cover and soften the onion, 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste; cook for 1 minute, then add the stock and tomatoes. Reduce the heat to low. Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a pot; cover with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook the potatoes to tender. In a separate pot, warm the olive oil, milk, stock, onion and garlic clove. Drain the potatoes, strain the liquid and add as much as you like to mash or rice the potatoes to a fairly smooth mixture. Add the cheese and egg, then adjust the salt and pepper, to taste. Heat the broiler with the rack in the center of the oven. Place the turkey in a casserole or in individual dishes and top with the potatoes. Brown under the broiler and serve.