News and Tribune

March 7, 2014

BBQ MY WAY: Shepherd's Pie – light and legit


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — If you have been a reader of this column for an extended period of time, you have probably noticed my appreciation of history and culture as it relates to food. To me, the title of this week’s recipe conjures up images of Ireland and frugal cooks of yesteryear who used leftover ingredients and potatoes to create hearty dishes of love for their families.

“Shepherd’s Pie” is typically associated with lamb as the main meat, but in truth it was made using any leftover meat that was on hand. It looks like a pie in the sense that the mashed potatoes top the dish like a meringue that when baked, browns slightly on the top. It’s hearty and warms your soul. We altered a couple of simple things which reduced the fat, calories and carbs, but in my opinion beautifully maintained the integrity of this great family dish. You can view our instructional video at The ground turkey meat lowers the fat, and the parsnips combines with the potatoes add a sweetness while reducing the carbs. This is a great St. Patrick’s Day dish.


2 Tbs olive oil

2 large parsnips – peeled and quartered

2 large Idaho potatoes – peeled and quartered

1 large yellow onion – chopped

2 garlic gloves – chopped

2 large carrots – peeled and sliced

1 1⁄4 lbs of ground turkey breast

2 tsp tomato paste

2 Tbs flour

1 cup chicken stock

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. dried thyme

1 Tbs dried rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Tbs. butter

1⁄2 block of light cream cheese

1⁄4 cup of milk

1 cup frozen peas

In enough water to cover the parsnips and potatoes, add one teaspoon of salt and boil till fork tender while cooking the rest of the dish. Drain and set aside.

In olive oil and over medium-high heat, saute' the carrots and onion for five minutes. Add the chopped garlic and saute' for another two minutes. Add the ground turkey and saute for five minutes. You may need to add a touch more olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and stir in. Then add the flour and stir in. Add the chicken broth. Stir until a rich broth is created. Now add the rosemary, thyme and Worcestershire. Mix for a minute or so. Now add the frozen peas and mix one last time. Remove from heat and set aside.

Drain the parsnips and potatoes. Start mashing. Add the cream cheese and butter and mash further. Season with salt and pepper. Add the milk and whip with rotary blender until fluffy and smooth. Place the turkey mixture in a large baking dish that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray. Top with the whipped parsnip/potato mixture. Place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Broil for the last five minutes to create the crusty texture and golden colors.

Let cool for 10 minutes and dig in. Enjoy! A great St. Patrick’s Day dish alongside a cold beer. What’s that I hear in the pasture? Ah, it’s the bagpipes.

Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones Financial Advisor in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. He is also a Kansas City Barbecue Society judge. You can contact Dave with your BBQ and grilling questions at