Shepherd's pie is one of the most comforting one-dish, cold weather meals around. I mean, is there anyone who doesn't want to dig into a dish of savory seasoned beef topped with creamy, browned mashed potatoes on a chilly fall evening? The combination is about as comforting as it comes.
This Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie from Lyniece North Talmadge's The Sweet Potato Lover's Cookbook takes the classic mashed potato topping and swaps it out for mashed sweets. The super savory filling is a mix of ground beef or turkey sautéed with tomatoes, thyme, and an umami blast of Worcestershire and shiitake mushrooms, rich and meaty enough to stand up to the sweetness of the sweet potato topping. This sweet and savory shepherd's pie is one of those recipes that's just asking to be tweaked to your tastes and with what happens to be in the fridge—the filling can be supplemented with extra veggies, and the sweet potato topping enriched with cheese, cream, or fresh herbs. If you happen to have a bowlful of leftover mashed sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving, this recipe is the perfect way to repurpose them.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, steamed, peeled, and mashed
- 1 pound ground beef or turkey
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup chicken or beef stock
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon flour or cornstarch for thickening water
- Salt and pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- 1 egg yolk
Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a glass baking dish.
Use a pat of the butter in the bottom of a skillet to brown the chopped onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add the ground meat and cook until lightly browned, then add the stock, thyme, and chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are soft. Remove any fat. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a little Worcestershire sauce. Remove the meat mixture to the glass baking dish. Mix the flour with a little water to make a paste to add to the cooked meat liquid to thicken. Whisk well and add to casserole dish, blending well.
Mix salt, egg yolk, and remaining butter into the mashed sweet potatoes. Spoon into a pastry bag with a star point. Pipe the sweet potato mixture over the casserole.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned.