Pay de Pastor (Mexican Shepherd’s Pie)

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I am stuck at home on the fourth snow day of 2011 in Georgia.  A record, at least, in my lifetime…  Lucky for me, I have a well-stocked kitchen.  So, I have been cooking quite a bit.  Here is a recipe I whipped up last night.  Now, I know that some sticklers are going to get me for calling this a Shepherd’s Pie (Pay is Spanglish and pronounced “pie” BTW) because it uses turkey (and a little bit of beef because I thought it needed more meat), but that’s okay.

One caveat:  This is my best attempt to write down what I did to make the casserole last night.  I did not measure all of the spice ingredients, so you can monkey with that at will.  Also, you may make any meat, veggie, or cheese substitute you want!  I used the Old El Paso enchilada sauce because it is gluten-free (many enchilada sauces are NOT).

Pay de Pastor: Mexican Shepherd’s Pie with Sour Cream and Green Chile Mashed Potato Topping

Vegetable Filling:

1 onion
2 shallots
4 celery stalks
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Fire-Roasted Corn
2 cubes Dorot Chopped Garlic Cubes
3 – 4 cubes Dorot Chopped Cilantro
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp olive oil

Chop onion, shallots, celery, bell pepper, and carrots to small dice. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on the stove. Put all of the vegetables in the pan and add the garlic, cilantro, and cumin.  Saute until vegetables are soft, then add roasted corn. Blend corn with vegetables until defrosted.  Put the vegetables aside in a bowl and wipe out pan.

Meat Filling:

1 pkg. ground turkey (19.2 oz.)
1 angus burger patty (5.3 oz.)
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

Put the ground turkey and beef patty together in a bowl and mix the meat together. Heat the oil in the large skillet and saute the meat until lightly brown.  Pour the contents of the skillet through a strainer and return to the pan.

Gravy:

1 pasilla chile
1 guajillo chile
1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
1 can Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce
1/4 – 1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tsp. Don Julio Cumin/Pepper blend
1 tsp. Penzey’s Ground Red Chipotle Chile Pepper
1 tsp. Penzey’s Smoked Spanish paprika
2 – 3 cubes Dorot Chopped Cilantro
2 cubes Dorot Chopped Garlic

Soak the chile peppers in a bowl until soft.  Discard the stem, seeds, and veins of the chiles and slice into smaller pieces.  Place the chiles in a blender with the tomatoes, cilantro, garlic, and some chicken broth and puree ingredients. Pour contents of blender over the meat in the skillet (use some more chicken broth to get the rest of the sauce out if necessary).

Mix the sauce and the meat and add spices as needed.  I added Don Julio cumin/pepper powder, chipotle powder, and smoked paprika.  I also added the enchilada sauce as an afterthought, but it could be added to the blender gravy if desired.

Add the vegetables to the meat mixture in the skillet or in a large bowl and mix them together.  Spread mixture in an 11 by 17 lasagna pan or clear baking dish.  Set aside while you are making the mashed potato topping.

Mashed Potato Topping:

3 large baking potatoes, peeled
1/3 cup light Sour Cream
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 7 oz. package Kraft 2% fat shredded Mexican Cheese blend

Chop the potatoes into approximately equal chunks – about 1 to 1 1/2 inches.  Put cut potatoes into a pot and cover with water.  Allow the water to come to a boil, then cook potatoes until they are able to be broken apart by a fork.

Strain the water out and return the potatoes to the pot.  Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes part-way.  Then, add sour cream and can of green chiles and mash until smooth.  Add half the package of shredded cheese to the potatoes and blend the mixture.

Spread the mashed potato mixture on top of the meat and vegetable mixture.  Place in a pre-heated oven (about 375 degrees), and bake for about 30 minutes.  Take the pan out and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese on top of the casserole.  Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly an casserole is heated through.

Remove from oven and allow the casserole to settle before slicing.  Serve with additional sour cream and salsa.

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