Picadillo and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie (Spicy Beef, Vegetable, and Sweet Potato Pie)

  • Yield : 6 servings
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  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 large pickled jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (wear rubber gloves)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chuck
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 28-ounce can plum tomatoes including the juice, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh coriander if desired
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound russet (baking) potatoes


Step 1

Make the filling: In a large heavy skillet cook the onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, cumin, chili powder, and oregano in the oil over moderately high heat, stirring until the onion is soft. Add the chuck and cook it over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up any lumps, until it is no longer pink. Add the tomato paste, the tomatoes with the juice, the raisins, olives, corn, coriander, salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is thickened. The filling may be made up to 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and brought to room temperature before proceeding.

Step 2

Make the topping: In a large saucepan combine the sweet and russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, with enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring the water to a boil and simmer the potatoes for 10 to 15 minutes, or until they are tender. Drain the potatoes, return them to the pan, and cook them over moderate heat, shaking the pan, for 30 seconds to evaporate any excess liquid. Force the potatoes through a ricer or the medium disk of a food mill into a bowl. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste, and stir the mixture until it is combined well and the butter is melted. Transfer the filling to a 3-quart baking dish at least 2 1/2 inches deep, spoon the topping over it, spreading it to cover the filling completely, and dot the top with the butter, cut into bits. Bake the pie in the middle of a preheated 400 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it is browned lightly.

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