A big batch of little pies

This twist on classic shepherd’s pie offers a colourful and tasty mealtime solution for eight to 10 hungry people. Sweet potatoes and cheddar cheese are used in the topping instead of the traditional mashed potatoes.

Big Batch Cheesy Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie can feed a crowd.

Big Batch Cheesy Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie can feed a crowd.

This twist on classic shepherd’s pie offers a colourful and tasty mealtime solution for eight to 10 hungry people. Sweet potatoes and cheddar cheese are used in the topping instead of the traditional mashed potatoes.

You could also make two dinners for four and freeze the second pan for a last-minute meal to cook from frozen.

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Topping

2 kg (4 lb) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) shredded old cheddar cheese

125 ml (1/2 cup) milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Filling

1 kg (2 lb) lean ground beef

2 cloves garlic, minced

500 ml (2 cups) each shredded carrots and zucchini

375 ml (1 1/2 cups) corn kernels

175 ml (3/4 cup) minced onion (about 1 medium)

15 ml (1 tbsp) each dried thyme, oregano and dry mustard

15 ml (1 tbsp) all-purpose flour

250 ml (1 cup) milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

Topping: In a large pot, cook sweet potatoes in boiling water until fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and mash with cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper.

Filling: In a large frying pan, saute beef over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain off fat. Add garlic, carrots, zucchini, corn and onion; cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. In a small bowl, mix together thyme, oregano, mustard and flour; stir into pan along with milk, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Transfer to two 2-l (8-inch) square baking dishes; top each with half of the potato mixture. (Can be frozen at this point.)

Bake in a 190 C (375 F) oven for 20 minutes or until heated through and topping is browned.

From Frozen: Bake in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 45 minutes until heated through.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Nutritional information per serving (when recipe serves 10): 500 calories, 31 g protein, 15 g fat, 59 g carbohydrate, 7 g fibre.

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