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Playing 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 jalapenos or serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • 1 15-ounce can crushed or petite diced tomatoes
For the Potato Topping
  • 2 to 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


Serves: 4-6


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