I really like using sweet potatoes. They are so naturally sweet, hence the name. They are also much better for you than white potatoes. I saw Rachel Ray do a Shepherds Pie using sweet potatoes so I modified her recipe. My readers know that means I added some kick to it. I added jalapenos and cayenne pepper in a couple of different places in the cooking process.
I also incorporated a lesson I learned from Chef Gaetano at Chicago’s Gioco. And that is browning your ground meat in a really hot pan. In so doing, there is no need to add any oil.
The taste was really nice. You can definitely kick this up even more than I did. I also might try a different cheese. I used a combination of cheddar and jalapeno jack.
Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie (adapted from Rachel Ray):
2 pounds ground turkey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 jalapeno pepper
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 cup of frozen corn
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of frozen peas
A few dashes hot sauce
1 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
1/2 cup jalapeno jack cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat a deep skillet on medium high. Add meat, onion and break up with a wooden spoon, season with salt and pepper, cayenne and poultry seasoning.
Place sweet potatoes in a pot, cover with water, cover pot, bring to a boil, salt and cook 15 minutes until tender.
Add the celery and stir, cook 5 minutes. Add corn and cook for 2 more minutes. While vegetables are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add flour to melted butter and whisk 1 minute then whisk in stock and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and Worcestershire. Thicken a few minutes.
Stir the gravy into the turkey mixture. Stir peas into meat and turn heat off.
Drain potatoes and return pot to heat. Add remaining butter and melt over medium heat. Season the potatoes with salt, pepper, cayenne and a few dashes hot sauce. Heat the whipping cream and butter and add to the Mash potatoes. Top the meat with the potatoes. Cover potatoes with cheese and set in oven. Bake to melt cheese, 5 minutes.