My take on Shepherds Pie - with Sweet Potato
I love a winter pie and this is one that warmed us from the inside out. Packed full of nourishment, I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for healthier options and nutrient rich meals for their family.
Albert really liked this dish too. Sweet potato has always been a winner with him. There is never a day I don't have a big fat sweet potato sitting in my vege bowl. Full of valuable nutrients like Vitamin A/C/B6, Manganese, Potassium and the list goes on... Along with being oh so tasty, I wonder why I didn't eat so much of it before having a child.
On the whole, this dish did not take much time to put together. It did take 2 hours on the stove though. This is why I made a lot and froze half of the bolognaise for future use in pasta, lasagne, with rice etc. 2 meals for the time of 1. Love that.
You are welcome to add what ever you prefer to your meat base, I am just giving you what I popped into mine. As eggplants are in season right now, I used them. You should try and use what ever your favourite seasonal veges are too.
Remember that fruit and veges that are stored for a long time or need to travel from afaaaaar, lose their nutrient value. In other words the fresher and less processed the food - the better it is for you.
Hope you enjoy it as much as we did xx
Pie Serves 6 (Bolognaise sauce serves 12)
- 1.5-2kg whole sweet potatoes
- 1 cup quality feta cheese, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup quality parmesan, grated
- 1 tbs olive for the dish
Boolognaise sauce (Halve the ingredients if you do not want to make extra for freezing)
- Quality extra virgin Olive oil
- 2 large onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 500 grams lean lamb mince
- 500 grams lean pork mince
- 500 grams beef mince
- 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 1 large zucchini, washed and cubed
- 3 sticks celery, finely cubed
- 8 ripe roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1 cup tomato passata
- 1/4 cup tomato paste (look for one with no sugar added)
- 1 cup vege stock
- 2 carrots, finely cubed
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
Make the sweet potato ahead of time (make 1 day before if you like) and set aside:
Preheat oven to 180 c and once at temperature, place the whole sweet potatoes in the oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes (or until you can push a skewer through both of them easily)
Set aside for later.
1. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large heavy based pot. Add onion and garlic and stir until onion is clear (2 minutes)
2. Add the eggplant, zucchini, celery, carrot and stir through on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
3. Empty the pots contents into a heat proof dish. Place pot back on medium heat. Add 1 tbs olive oil and all mince meat. Using a potato masher, mash the meat so there are no lumps for 1 minutes. The meat should brown slightly. But not cook through.
4. Now add the onion and vegetable mix to the pot with the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Bring to the boil, then turn right down to a gentle simmer. (tiny bubbles only)
5. Place the lid on with a inch gap for the air to escape and leave for 1 1/2 - 2 hours stirring occasionally.
6. If it is watery 30 minutes before you are due to turn it off, take the lid off and allow the water to evaporate.
7. Once done, turn the heat off. Place the lid on and leave for at least 2 hours for the flavours to get even better. (I left mine for 7 hours before making the pie).
To assemble the pie:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 c. In a baking dish (I used a deep 9 x 5 inch porcelain dish) Rub olive oil around the base of the dish. Spoon half the bolognaise sauce (freeze the other half in an airtight container) into the dish and spread the top out flat.
2. Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and place the flesh into a large bowl. Mash to a preferred consistency with a fork or masher and add the cheeses.
3. Spoon the sweet potato topping over the sauce and spread out evenly so all the sauce is covered. Use a butter knife to do this if easier.
4. Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
5. Serve straight away with fresh herbs.
P.s This is so good for lunch the next day, ask my husband :)