Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Turkey Day Extravaganza Redux: Moroccan Turkey Shepard's Pie

The biggest question the day after Thanksgiving is WHAT am I going to do with all these leftovers? You open the refrigerator door and days of eating turkey, stuffing, mac n cheese, etc just looms in front of you. It can be a little scary.

Moroccan Turkey Shepard's Pie
Worry no more my fellow readers! Below are some ideas taken from my Thanksgiving cooking bonanza last week where we finished all the leftovers without eating the same thing twice! It was incredibly easy and delicious.
Pumpkin pancakes

Panko-crusted two-potato croquetas
Turkey Day Tortilla Espanola
From 2010, another Moroccan take with turkey tagine over couscous.

The star of this cooking blitz though was definitely my Moroccan Turkey Shepard's Pie using leftover turkey meat, gravy and mashed potatoes from the night before. The sweet warmth from the cinnamon and cloves, tartness from cranberries, slight smokiness of the cumin, and pure deliciousness of the turkey and sausage together made for the perfect laid back dinner post-Thanksgiving that was still special enough to serve at a second dinner.  It was so special that a chunk was taken out before I had a chance to photograph it!

I would highly recommend using merguez sausage for this recipe as it has all the flavors needed to highlight the Moroccan flavors. However, I actually couldn't locate any merguez due to time constraints. So I picked up some really beautiful pork sausages with blueberries at the meat counter in Whole Foods. I felt the blueberries would add to the sweet and fruity undertones I was looking to achieve.

For the mashed potato topping, you can just spread it on top without any extra ingredients if you made it using plain old Idaho potatoes.  Since we made mashed two-potatoes though, I wanted to bring out the sweet flavor of the sweet potatoes and round out the entire dish.

I hope you enjoy this new take on an Irish classic!

Serves 8

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 large Vidalia onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 cup fresh cranberries
3 links merguez or sausage of your choice
2 cups leftover turkey, mix of white and dark meat, roughly chopped
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 tbsp ground clove
1/2 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
2 stem fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup leftover gravy
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the topping:
4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 tbsp high quality maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 sprig fresh thyme leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.  Preheat over to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a medium pot, warm oil over medium high heat.  Add onion, garlic carrot and cranberries and cook together for a few minutes until onions become slightly translucent. Make sure garlic does not burn.

3.  Pull off rough chunks of merguez and add to the mixture.  Cook until golden brown on outside and then add turkey.  Add cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, cumin and thyme to the pot. Mix until fully incorporated for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add gravy and chicken stock to the pot. Bring to a boil until it comes together for 5-7 minutes and then season to taste.  You should not need a lot of salt, if any, by this point because of the gravy.  Pour into a medium size oval casserole dish

5.  In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients for the topping with a large wooden spoon. Gently drop large spoonfuls of the potatoes over the turkey mixture until fully covered and then use the wooden spoon to smooth it all around.

6.  Bake in oven for 40 minutes. Garnish with a few thyme leaves and serve immediately.


  1. Hey Mei-i!

    Did you use our adventurous regular/sweet potato mash for the Shepard's Pie? If so, I hope they served you well! The leftover creations look amazing...wish we could have Fedex'd some of this to Mexico ;)

  2. Thanks Brent! I was so sad that you guys weren't there for turkey round#2. But glad we put your mashed potatoes to good use. :)

    Hope you had lots of margaritas and piña coladas in Mexico! Welcome back to the chilly reality of living in the Northeast!!!