Although it’s just the two of us, I am a huge fan of making large one-pot meals that reheat well for leftovers. My days are busy as a work-from-homer and meals like this Shepherd’s pie warm up quickly for lunch. Or even a couple of days later for an easy dinner. This casserole, of sorts, has a really deep and homey flavor that you will want to eat more than once. Promise.
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Yields: 4-6 servings
1 lb. sweet potatoes or jewel yams — about 3 large (I used white sweet potatoes here; if you prefer regular potatoes, use yukon gold)
1 lb. ground lamb (or ground meat of choice)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
2 c. chopped spinach or kale, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. herbs de provence, plus more for topping
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½ c. white wine (or sub extra broth)
1 tbsp. tapioca starch (optional for a thicker sauce)
1 c. bone broth or stock of choice
To add to the sweet potatoes:
2 tbsp. butter, ghee, tallow, or lard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 egg yolks (can be left out if you have an egg allergy)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, or basil (if you don’t have fresh herbs, sub 1 tsp. herbs de provence)
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
Peel and cube the sweet potatoes. Add them to a large pot of cold water with a pinch of salt water. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fully softened (pierce with a fork to check after about 15 minutes). Once softened, drain the potatoes out in a colander and set them aside to cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
While the potatoes are boiling, add the ground lamb to a large greased sauté pan over medium high heat. Add a pinch of sea salt and ground pepper, crumble the meat up, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the browned lamb from the pan and set it aside. Add the chopped onion, celery, and carrots to the hot pan and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about 3 more minutes. Add the garlic, herbs de provence, and tomato paste and stir them in for about a minute. Add in the white wine and scrape the bottom down for any browned bits.
Dissolve the tapioca starch (if using) into the broth and pour it into the pan. Add the browned meat back in and stir well. Continue to cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble and thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour the meat mixture out into a baking pan (approximately 9×13 or 8×10).
Add the cooked sweet potatoes to a large food processor. Add in the butter, minced garlic, egg yolks, chopped rosemary, sea salt, and ground pepper. Process until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Pour the potatoes out over the meat mixture and smooth it out. Sprinkle with additional herbs de provence, as desired.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the top is golden and the edges are bubbly.