01 December, 2010

Thanksgiving Shepherd's Pie!

John Ross and his Irish buddy Ian watching the big trucks pick up leaves!

It's snowing here in Green Bay!!!!! The roads are covered and John Ross spent his entire breakfast (2 bowls of cereal and a container of yogurt) gazing out the dining room window and repeating "Whoa..." The first snow is a good day here at the Boerschinger home. But, I digress...

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday at our home. Kevin spent many years deprived of turkey because it was the preferred meat at his family home. I believe in a full turkey dinner with all of the fixings. Most, if not all, is homemade.

The thing with a homemade Thanksgiving at our house is that there are TONS of leftovers in various proportions. Howeve, when it comes to Thanksgiving, I cannot justify throwing anything out. I believe in using everything to its fullest capacity to respect the gift of food we've been given. I start by making turkey stock with the carcass and move on to soup with the stock and leftover meat and turkey paninis and cranberry sauce. Then the ingredients start to dwindle a bit...To avoid eating a final lonely lunch of stuffing and squishy corn, I came up with a new recipe this year!

Cue the Thanksgiving shepherd's pie!

The Irish tradition of shepherd's pie is at its simplest a deep dish of meat and vegetables smothered with a gravy-like sauce and topped with a thick layer of toasted mashed potatoes.

Ours consisted of leftover corn, leftover stuffing, chopped turkey (dark meat), leftover green bean casserole, and leftover gravy. I topped it with our leftover mashed potatoes which this year were made of sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, parsnips, butter, sour cream, heavy cream and chives. I warmed it all in the oven for about 30 minutes at about 375 and then cranked it up to about 425 to toast the top of the potatoes.

Everybody loved it! It was so yummy that this mama doesn't even mind the prospect of eating it for lunch every day this week.

I think the trick for us busy mamas who want to save time and money is to revisit the classic dishes and flavors and tweak them just slightly to fit whatever is in our pantry. Or perhaps leftover containers...

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