Cranberry, Almond, and Mushroom Stuffing Shepherds Pie with a Stuffing-Stuffed Mushroom Cap

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Thanksgiving is so close that I can just about taste the buttery mashed potatoes that I am sure I will consume mounds of.

I fantasize about my Thanksgiving menu beginning in October, but it much less weird now that the big day is just a few days away. I like to create a cohesive menu that uses the same ingredients throughout each course from the appetizers to the dessert. I feel that it keeps the meal from being boring without sacrificing that classic comfort food that we all love. This year I wanted to update my stuffing recipe and use it in an unexpected way, thus I present:

Cranberry, Almond, and Mushroom Stuffing Shepherds Pie with a Stuffing-Stuffed Mushroom Cap

That is a mouthful, but an incredibly delicious mouthful. You’re going to love this twist of stuffing and how it will bring your from appetizer to entree.


Start your mashed potatoes by peeling and quartering 5 large russet potatoes. Put the potatoes into a pot, cover with water, and boil until soft- about 20 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling, clean 9 large white mushrooms with a damp cloth to remove any dirt and remove the stems (save these stems for your stuffing).


Grease a 8” glass plan with butter and arrange the mushroom caps in the pan, in one layer.


Once your potatoes are done (test the texture with a fork), strain them in a colander and place them into your standing mixer or large glass bowl with 1/2 cup whole milk, 1/4 cup unsalted butter, and 4 tsp garlic paste. Use your mixer to mash your potatoes, or mash them by hand. 


Once combined, add in 2 tablespoons fresh chopped chives and salt and pepper to taste. Up your mixer power to the next level and whip until desired consistency. I like mine whipped and smooth, but there is something to be said about gorgeous, lumpy potatoes as well. Set your mashed potatoes aside while you prepare the stuffing layer of your shepherd’s pie.


You have a choice whether to make your stuffing early in the day and reheat later or make two batches: one for your appetizer, and one for your entree. Either way, let’s keep your stuffing simple: let’s use a packaged version and make it sing. Heat 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 finely chopped brown onion and 2 stalks of finely chopped celery to pan and sauté for about 5 minutes.


Chop up the nine mushroom stems that you saved from your mushroom caps and add them along with 1 tablespoon of garlic paste to mixture and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.  Pour in 2 cups of your vegetable both and bring to boil.


Once it is boiling, pull the pan off the heat and stir in your packaged stuffing. You can decide to add more liquid depending on the consistency you like.


Put the pot back onto low heat and stir in 2/3 cup dried cranberries and let stand for 5 minutes over the low heat. Stir in 1/2 cup slivered, blanched almonds into stuffing and add salt and pepper to taste.


Time to assemble your mushroom caps:

Put 1 cup of your stuffing a small bowl with 2 oz Primo Taglio goat cheese and microwave for thirty seconds to make it easy to stir.


Mix together and fill each cap with a couple of tablespoons of the mixture. Replace the mushrooms in your greased dish and sprinkle with a tablespoon of Panko crumbs. Pop your pan in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until the tops are golden brown.


Butter a large 14” glass pan and spoon your remaining stuffing into it and spread into an even layers with the back of your spoon. Spread your delicious mashed potatoes on top of your stuffing in about a 2 inch layer and drizzle the potatoes with 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil. Sprinkle the top with Hungarian paprika for color and spice and put into the same 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a little bit crisp.


Look at the color. Does it get much better than this?


Serve your mushroom caps early in the day for a satisfying and easy appetizer.


Serve your stuffing shepherd’s pie up with a decent-sized helping of the porcini mushroom and shallot gravy from last week’s post:

Make-Ahead Porcini Mushroom Shallot Gravy

This shepherd’s pie is an easy way to serve up two sides together, which means less dishes on the tables and all of the deliciousness. I hope that your Thanksgiving holiday is full of incredible food, cheerful people, and a huge helping of love.


Stuffing Shepherds Pie, Serves 8

1 Package Favorite Stuffing

5 Tbsp Unsalted Butter

1 Brown Onion, Finely Chopped

2 Stalks Celery, chopped

Stems from 9 Mushrooms, chopped

1 Tbsp Garlic Paste

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

2/3 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/2 Cup Slivered, Blanched Almonds

Add butter, onions, and celery to large pan over medium-high heat and cook for 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms tens and garlic paste to pan and sauce for 3-5 minutes

Pour in 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to boil

Once boiling, pull pan off of heat and stir in your package stuffing

Add more liquid to your preferred consistency

Put pot back on burner, stir in dried cranberries and let stand for 5 minutes

Stir in slivered almonds and add salt and pepper to taste

Garlic Chive Mashed Potatoes

5 large russet Potatoes

1/2 Cup Whole Milk

1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter

4 Tsp Garlic Paste

2 Tbsp Chopped Chives

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Peel and quarter potatoes and put in pot with water.

Bring to boil and cook until soft, about 20 minutes

Put potatoes into standing mixer with milk, butter, and garlic

Turn mixer on low to stir in ingredients then then next higher speed until potatoes are your preferred consistency

Mix in fresh chopped chives and add salt and pepper to taste.

To assemble shepherds pie:

Butter 14” glass baking dish and spread stuffing in an even layer in the dish

Place mashed potatoes on top of stuffing and spread in an even layer

Drizzle top of potatoes with 2 Tablespoons good olive oil and sprinkled with Hungarian paprika

Pop into a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown

Stuffing Stuffed Mushroom Caps

9 Large White Mushroom Caps

1 Cup Stuffing Mixture

2 oz Goat Cheese

1 Tbsp Panko Bread Crumbs

Clean and de-stem 9 large white mushrooms and place in a buttered 8” glass baking dish

Put stuffing and goat cheese in small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to make it easy to stir.

Mix together and stuff each cap with about 2 tablespoons of mixture.

Place mushrooms in glass baking dish and sprinkle tops with Panko crumbs

Place dish in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until golden brown

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