Sweet potatoes seem to be a devisive ingredient. It seems you either love them or hate them. Maybe it’s the marshmallow-loaded Thanksgiving side dish that gives them a bad day? (But let’s be honest. I LOVE that too… in its own right). Thankfully here, the hubbs and I are both on board with sweet potatoes, especially roasted. I think I could eat those for dinner alone!
So, as you can see, the topping of this Sheperd’s Pie from Cookin’ Canuck definitely got my attention. One thing I tend not to do with either normal potatoes or sweet potatoes at home is make mashed potatoes. I don’t really have a good reason why. I guess somehow in my mind I made it out to be a complicated process, but honestly, it’s probably faster than many other methods of cooking them.
At work, I’ve shifted over to 10-hr days. On one hand, I’m loving the extra day off, but as the primary cook in the house, I’ve been looking for ways to make dinner a little easier on the hubbs. Especially in the winter where its not quite as easy for him to just grill everynight. Putting this dish together was an easy process, and it allowed for me to do all the assembly (up to the final bake) the day before. For a busy night or a spouse roommate who doesn’t like to cook as much, all they have to do is bake it!
And, on top of easy… it was delicious. I think the hubbs ate half the pan 🙂
I will say, I did use the bison meat, but didn’t read the package well enough, so I only made the pie with 12oz of meat. If you can’t find bison or would prefer beef, I’m reasonably certain this could be made with ground beef as well. It seems that anywhere from 3/4 to 1-1/2 lbs of meat would work, just dependent on how much food you’d like and ease for package sizes, etc.
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Cookin’ Canuck
For the sweet potato topping:
1-1/4 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into ~1/2-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup milk
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
For the filling:
2 tsp. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3/4 to 1-1/2 lbs. ground bison or ground beef
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried crushed rosemary
1 cup beef broth
1 cup frozen peas
For the sweet potatoes:
Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the water and leave the sweet potatoes in the pan. Mash the potatoes with the butter, milk, salt and pepper.
For the filling:
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the onions and cook until they start to turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the meat, crumble while cooking, until cooked through. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and frozen peas. Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5-10 minutes.
Add the meat mixture to a baking dish. I used a 1-1/2 qt dish. A square pan would also likely work, although a 8×8 pan will be full. Cover with the mashed sweet potaotes ensuring all edges are covered. At this time, the dish can be refrigerated to bake (wouldn’t leave it more than 1-2 days) or baked immediately at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes. Enjoy!