Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Hey guys, I hope everybody is keeping well! As promised, here is the written version of my Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie recipe. I really appreciate the nice reactions you’ve given to it so far on my social channels. It really does go to show that we all love to indulge in wholesome, hearty warm meals around this time of year – even better when we get a great serving of all the right nutrients along with them. This is definitely one of those dishes, and I would love to hear even more of your own thoughts about the dish if you try it!

Serves 4

This recipe can be made vegan by substituting the beef mince for soya mince and the butter for sunflower spread.

Ingredients:

  • Sweet potato, medium, 5
  • Butternut squash, 1
  • Cashew nuts, 200 g
  • Beef mince, 465 g
  • Red pepper, medium, 2
  • Red onion, medium, 2
  • Garlic cloves, 3
  • Frozen mixed veg (peas, sweetcorn, carrots), 150 g
  • Fresh spinach, 100 g
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes, 400 g
  • Butter, 2 heaped tbsps
  • Rosemary, 1 tbsp
  • Paprika, sweet or smoked, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin 1 tbsp
  • Chili flakes, 1 tsp
  • Honey, 1 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Place the cashew nuts into a bowl of water for at least one hour before making the sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.
  3. Without peeling the skin from either the sweet potatoes or butternut squash, pierce each of them evenly about 6 times around with a fork. Place them on a baking tray and bake them in the oven for approx. 1 hr 5 mins. Carefully remove the tray and pierce the sweet potatoes and butternut squash with a knife after this time. It should move through them effortlessly if they are fully cooked.
  4. Peel and chop the onions, deseed and chop the red peppers and crush and chop the garlic finely. Place them aside for the time being.
  5. Into a blender, add the soaked cashews (drained of their water), the chopped tomatoes, honey, paprika, cumin, chili flakes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz this together very well into an extremely smooth consistency. This may require scraping down the sides of your blender a few times and blitzing again.
  6. Preheat a large pan over medium heat. When it’s warm, add the onion and garlic and sautée them for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden. Stir in the red peppers and fry for a further 3 minutes.
  7. Onto a separate medium pan, preheated over medium heat, add the mince. Cook it slowly, tossing the meat frequently and ensuring it cooks through thoroughly over approx. 10 minutes, or until fully browned.
  8. Into the first pan containing the vegetables, add in the frozen mixed veg (or fresh, precooked veg if you would rather). Mix together well for approx. 5 minutes. Add in a few sprinkles of salt and pepper.
  9. Once the sweet potato is cooked, allow it a few minutes to cool down. With caution, slice the sweet potato down the middle and gently squeeze the potato out of its skin into a mixing bowl. Do this for the remainder of the sweet potatoes. Add in the butter, rosemary and a pinch of salt and mash it all together until fluffy.
  10. Slice the butternut squash down the middle, scoop out the seeds from both halves, and dispose of them. Scoop the squash out of it’s skin and into another bowl. Mash it very well. Add the mashed squash into the pan of vegetables and mix well.
  11. Add the spinach into the bowl of vegetables and allow it to wilt over a minute or two. Add in the sauce, give it a nice stir, then add in the cooked mince and mix everything together well.
  12. Add the contents of the pan into a large casserole dish. Place the mashed sweet potato on top of the contents and, using a fork, gently spread it out evenly.
  13. Add the casserole dish back into the oven for 8 minutes to allow the top layer to crisp up slightly.
  14. Remove the dish and sprinkle some fresh parsley on top, and serve. Enjoy!

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