Mother Earth Living

Southern Shepherd’s Pie

Turkey, herbs and sweet potatoes star in this southern twist on traditional shepherd's pie.
Recipe Courtesy Marie Nygren, The Farmhouse
March/April 2010
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Chef Marie Nygren, owner of The Farmhouse restaurant in the Serenbe community, serves up her Southern Shepherd's Pie to an eager crowd.
Photo By Povy Kendal Atchison

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Southern Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 6 to 8 


2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup collard greens
2 tablespoons mild olive oil
2 pounds ground white turkey meat
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup beer
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
5 pieces of fresh thyme
1 cup butterpeas, cooked


2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 large, sweet onions
Olive oil
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup half-and-half

To make filling: 

1. Wash and slice leeks, using all of the white part plus 2 inches of the green part. Heat about 2 tablespoons butter in sauté pan and cook over low heat until white parts are tender and green parts turn bright.

2. Blanch or lightly steam collards.

3. Heat oil in large pan. Add turkey and brown, stirring often to break into pieces. Add salt and Tabasco. Add flour and tomato paste and cook about 1 minute.

4. Add half-and-half, and cook another minute. Add beer, stock, soy sauce and thyme and simmer over medium heat, stirring often until mixture has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in prepared butterpeas, leeks and collards. Taste for seasoning and add more Tabasco and salt if desired. Spoon mixture into 2-quart casserole dish.

To make topping: 

1. In a pot of water, add potatoes and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes and return to pot.

2. Slice onions into 1/4-inch rings. Heat oil (enough to coat bottom of pan plus an inch more) over high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to medium-low and add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and deep brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Mash potatoes and add butter, half-and-half and caramelized onions. Season with salt if necessary.

To bake: 

1. Spread potatoes over filling. Bake in 375-degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes or until topping bubbles.

Wine Pairing: Meditrina red wine blend 

A blend of Pinot Noir, Syrah and Zinfandel, this easy drinking wine has rich, lush berry notes, spice and structure. Its earthiness and elegance make it a great match for this dish’s turkey, herbs and sweet potatoes.   $15

For more recipes, read the original article, "Farmhouse Flavor: Serenbe Puts a Local Spin on Traditional Southern Cuisine."

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