Sunday, February 7, 2010

Comfort Food: Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie


One of those meals that just makes your tummy happy. It's warm, comforting, yet has a unique blend of flavors that excites your taste buds. What started as a Rachael Ray creation, with a slight bit of tweaking has evolved into a favorite of our household!

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie


2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (the more the better in my opinion!)
Ground cloves*
Ground cinnamon*
Garlic Powder*
Old Bay's Seasoning* 
Extra-virgin olive oil (as needed) 
2 pounds ground turkey (I use ground buffalo or ground moose, which leads me to believe it could be fine with beef, or any meat you have on hand)
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
4 ribs celery, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups turkey or chicken broth (I used beef broth)
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of frozen peas

* Unfortunately I didn't measure these ingredients. I just sprinkled, stirred and tasted. Don't underestimate yourself, you're the best judge of whether it has enough flavor. I tend to add until it tastes good...and then add a little more... :-) 

Optional Ingredients:

2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese 
A few dashes hot pepper sauce
A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce


In an appropriate sized pot, cover sweet potatoes with water. Bring to a boil (add salt if desired) and cook until tender--10-15 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

While sweet potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 Degrees. In a large skillet, cook the meat, breaking up with a spoon. Once cooked, add carrots, celery, onion, garlic powder, Old Bay's, salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, approximately 5 minutes. 

In a small skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat, add flour and whisk for 1 minute. Next whisk in the stock and season to taste--garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper...use your creativity and taste it as you go! Allow to thicken, stirring constantly. Then add to the meat mixture. 

Mash the sweet potatoes with butter, milk, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, salt, pepper and if desired,  Worcestershire sauce and/or hot sauce. I think my favorite is including both with a little bit of shredded cheddar cheese mixed in. 

Place meat mixture in an appropriate casserole dish and top with sweet potato mixture, smoothing it to cover the top completely. Sprinkle more cheese over top if desired. Bake until cheese is melted. Can be made ahead of time, just look for bubbling along the edges. 

Adapted from Rachael Ray's Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie--main changes: no banana (it just doesn't sound good...), the cheese isn't necessary, nor the hot sauce (but they are fun to experiment with for different flavor!) and I added the cloves, cinnamon, Old Bay's and garlic powder. The contrast is so interesting Who would have thought cinnamon, garlic and hot sauce could make such a delicious flavor! 
          Serve with a crisp salad and enjoy!

1 comment:

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