I’ve gone through pounds of McCormick’s Grill Mates Seasoning: Montreal Chicken, and not just for grilling.  In fact hardly ever for grilling. This flavorful blend, heavy on garlic and pepper, but lightened with orange peel and other aromatic ingredients is my go-to spice blend for flavoring several family favorite mealsincluding oven-fried chicken, meatloaf, chicken and noodles, and my Thanksgiving turkey.

When the boys were at home and I made Shepherd’s Pie it always got gobbled up.  It still does though now there are leftovers for the next day.  This recipe isn’t high cuisine but it’s easy to make and provides a comforting and complete meal for an autumn or winter night, or any other time. Originating from the British Isles it is traditionally made with ground lamb.  A ground beef version is called Cottage Pie. Since I usually make mine with ground turkey, I’m not sure what it might be called. Imagining shepherds with a herd of turkeys does seem rather laughable, but we’ll stick with the traditional name.

Shepherd's Pie 4d

 Shepherd’s Pie

5              Medium russet potatoes
1/3 cup    Butter – cut into several slices
1/2 cup    Milk
1 tsp.       Salt
1/2 tsp     Pepper
1/2 cup    Diced onion
1 lb.         Ground Turkey (or Lamb or Beef as desired)
1 Tbs.      Olive Oil
1 Tbs.      McCormick’s Grill Mates Seasoning: Montreal Chicken
 Pkg       McCormick’s Turkey Gravy Seasoning Mix
1/2  cup   Chicken Broth
1 Can       Whole Kernel Corn (drained)
1 Can       Peas and Carrots (drained)
2 Cups     Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Additional salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice potatoes and cover in salted water in medium sauce pan.  Bring to boil then reduce heat to keep at low boil until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.  Drain water.  Add salt, pepper, butter and milk.  Use potato masher or electric hand mixer to mash until smooth.   Add salt as needed. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in dutch oven or deep over safe pan on medium high heat and saute onions until translucent. Add meat and Montreal Seasonings. Brown until meat is cooked through.  Add gravy mix and broth.  Stir and let thicken.  Add vegetables and stir thoroughly.

Take off heat and sprinkle 1/2 of cheese over top of meat mixture then spread mashed potatoes to completely cover cheese. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly on top.

You could also put the layers in a greased deep casserole dish to bake.  I prefer to use a single dish for the browning and the baking to save on clean up.

Bake at 350 degrees until you see the gravy mixture bubbling on the sides of the dish — approximately 20 minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy. Serves 4 -6.

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