Love From the Lunchroom

Potato Turbate

December 14, 2016

Since I ran the recipe for this Pinellas County, FL school cafeteria lunchroom favorite, I’ve heard from more than a dozen readers who fondly remember the dish. Susant T., who attended Starkey Elementary in Pinellas County, FL, in the early 1960s, asked for it first, so Susan: know that you have a lot of grateful cohorts who appreciate your request. Cafeteria-hot-dish-wise, potato turbate is basically a stripped-down version of shepherds pie ( seasoned ground beef baked under a thick layer of whipped (turbated?) potatoes. “That dish is the one we get most requests for when people write in, or do menus for school reunions,” says Dolores McCoy, a longtime nutrition education specialist and menu planner for Pinellas County Schools. While earliest versions of the turbate were sans vegetables, the recipe was updated a few decades ago to include some onion, carrot and celery.

Potato Turbate
Serves 10
With love from the lunchroom of Pinellas County, FL school district, potato turbate is a simple beef/gravy/veggie shepherd's pie. Easy to make & comfort food for sure, it's a kid favorite.
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  1. Meat and Vegetable Filling Ingredients
  2. 3 pounds ground beef (chuck)
  3. 2 ribs celery, diced
  4. 1 small onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup fresh, shredded carrots
  6. ¼ cup whole wheat flour (NOTE: regular unbleached white flour is okay, too)
  7. 2, .87-ounce packages powdered brown gravy mix (McCormick brand is fine)
  8. 1 2/3 cups beef stock
  9. 1 tsp granulated garlic
  10. Fresh cracked black pepper and salt, to taste
  11. 1 tsp. light soy sauce
  12. Sprinkle of Worchestershire sauce
  13. Whipped Potatoes Ingredients
  14. 3 cups instant mashed potatoes
  15. To brush on before baking
  16. 2 Tbsp. margarine, or butter, melted
  17. Paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In saute pan, brown ground beef. In microwave, combine raw vegetables with 2 Tbsp water; cover and microwave-steam vegetables until tender; about 5 minutes. Drain fat from ground beef. Combine vegetables with beef; sprinkle with flour and seasonings. Stir combine. Stir in powdered beef gravy mix. Add stock. Simmer five minutes until thickened. Spread layer of beef mixture in bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan. Prepared mashed potatoes as directed on package (Choose the method on the box that includes milk and butter). Spread 1/2 of the whipped potatoes over beef. Using a pastry piping bag, top the potatoes with piped potato for more decorative look. Brush top with melted butter; dust lightly with paprika. Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown on top (about 30 minutes.)
Adapted from MKRogers
Adapted from MKRogers
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