Shepherds Pie with a Sweet Potato topping

The other morning I was up at the crack of dawn. Actually that’s a lie, being winter the sun hadn’t even risen when Sam had gone to work. Usually I’ll admit I will stay in bed for another hour or so, dozing whilst Emily cuddles me watching CBeebies, but this morning, whilst Emily was still sleeping soundly in her room, I decided to get up, enjoy a cup of tea, write my to-do list for the day and get cracking with this dish.

I’ve previously written about my love for this British classic and it’s a perfect winter warmer. Not to mention Sam loves this dish and mashed potato, served with lashings of gravy, a crusty loaf and a side of greens.

This recipe though swaps mashed white potato for a cheesy mashed sweet potato. Between the two I actually prefer mashed sweet potato to white mashed potato. It must be the sweetness, plus the golden autumnal colours of it combined with a little butter, milk and cheese, ah, I live for the stuff.

It’s also rich in vitamins C and B, as well as potassium. While white potatoes are lower in fat and sugar, sweet potatoes have fewer carbs and calories. Except I think the idea of fewer calories stops at the cheese, milk and butter, but hey him who’s counting?

It’s really to easy to make. Most of the ingredients you’ll already have in your cupboards and it contains 4 of your 5 a day in the dish and you can serve it with as many or as little veggies as you like.

Although there was cheese added to the mashed sweet potato, I did add a little sprinkle of cheese 15 minutes before serving, because, come on, shepherds pie works well with a little crispy cheese on top. Well for us it does anyway.

I cooked this at 7.30 in the morning, let it cool, stored it in the fridge and I cooked it later that evening. You can of course make this in advance and freeze it if you prefer or even prepare it up to a day in advance. Either way the flavours are awesome when it is eventually cooked.

There was a little mashed potato left over, which I added to a little ramekin for Emily. I pray that she’ll want to eat the shepherds pie later but currently with her infatuation with sausages and ham, this may not happen!

Preparation: 10 minutes

Cooking: 20 minutes

Baking: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 150g medium cheddar
  • 1 knob of butter and 2 tsp butter
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 10ml milk
  • 6 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 1 medium white potato, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • Oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 500ml beef stock

Method:

  1. Place the potatoes in a deep pan and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Whilst the potatoes are cooking, add the diced carrots to a pot of water and cook until soft for 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside with a little butter and a sprinkle of mint.
  3. Mash the potatoes with the milk, a knob of butter, salt and pepper and 125g of medium cheddar (use stronger cheese if you prefer, works well with Red Leicester too).
  1. To a wok add a little oil, add the diced onion, chopped mushrooms, and buttered carrots with 1/2 tsp mint and stir. Let sauté for a few minutes, then add 2 tsp butter, season and 2 tbsp tomato paste. Stir.
  2. After a few minutes add lamb mince and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce and cook until browned.
  3. Whilst the lamb is cooking, boil a kettle and make 500ml of beef stock with a hint of mint and Worcestershire sauce. Add 1 stock cube to the lamb and stir, before adding the stock and bringing to boil.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat.
  5. Spoon the meat and veg mix into a deep oven proof dish, leaving the sauce in the wok.
  6. Add the mashed sweet potato to the top and season. Set aside to cook shortly, in a few hours or freeze covered, until you do cook it.
  7. Pour the sauce into a measuring jug or sealed container until you cook the shepherds pie. Heat in a pot with a little seasoning and thicken with corn flour until desired constituency.

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