The first shepherd’s pie I ever had was at Ethos, a vegan restaurant in Orlando, which refers to it, adorably, as a “sheep’s pie”. It was simply vegetables topped with mashed potatoes and honestly, despite it being a typically meat-focused dish, that’s still my ideal for what a shepherd’s pie should be. Most of the times I’ve cooked it it was just onions, carrots, peas, and mashed potatoes made with olive oil. But I had two pounds of frozen turkey, a great deal of cheese, and truffle butter to use up. It’s a great way of using up just about anything you could throw in, really, as long as one of those things is mashed potatoes.
I started by sauteing some onions and garlic* in the rest of my truffle butter, then added carrots and celery (I should have put in the meat at this point, because the extra moisture from the vegetables prevented it from browning) and a bag of mixed frozen vegetables (peas, carrots, cauliflower, corn, and parsley). Once the meat (1 lb ground turkey) was cooked I added a diced tomato and about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce**, salt and pepper*. When the tomato had cooked down some I stirred in a few tablespoons of flour, then pressed the mixture into the bottom of a baking dish.
While this was cooking, I chopped and boiled my potatoes, then mashed them with cultured butter, an egg, 4-6 oz of truffle cheddar, the last bit of that milk I froze last month, salt and pepper.
I pressed the potatoes into the top of the dish, then made a spiral pattern with the back of the spoon so the crests would get crisp in the oven. I baked it for 30 minutes at 400°F.
(If you’ve never had shepherd’s pie before; don’t try to cut it into slices, just scoop some out with a big spoon.)
**An old roommate left this in my apartment. Her mother just showed up one day without warning and they packed up and moved out. She also left a bunch of nattō, which I was disappointed to find I did not like.