This recipe started out as a standard shepherd’s pie idea. But then I remembered that my boys love mashed sweet potatoes about 100 times more than regular mashed potatoes. I was researching ways to do shepherd’s pie when I stumbled across an old recipe I used to make for picadillo, and this idea was born.
Picadillo is a South American or Cuban dish made with ground meat, tomatoes, olives, raisins, and local vegetables. It resembles the ground beef mixture that is the beef layer of shepherd’s pie, so I thought I would try my hand at combining picadillo with shepherd’s pie, topping the pie with sweet potatoes instead of regular old mashed potatoes.
The result? A definite make-again.
1 pound lean ground beef (92% lean or higher)
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
One 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes, UNdrained
½ cup chopped green olives
½ cup raisins
1 roasted red pepper, diced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 medium sweet potatoes, baked and peeled
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet, brown the beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat. Once the meat is fully cooked, add the tomatoes and all remaining ingredients except the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture thickens.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mash the sweet potatoes until no lumps remain.
Pour the beef mixture into the bottom of a two-quart or 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with the sweet potatoes (or half sweet potatoes and half regular potatoes, which is what we did):
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes begin to brown.