I like to take a classic dish and switch up a few ingredients. This time I’m starting with my Shepard’s Pie, one of my favorite comfort foods. I switched the topping to sweet potato and added some Moroccan spices, tomatoes and dates – Voila! This dish is a nice way to introduce some different flavors to your family/guests, by using a familiar base. It’s easy enough for a weekday and exotic enough for company.
This is the same idea as my Potato Crusted Fish and Sweet Potato Crusted Fish– where I switched an ingredient and some flavorings. Both of these recipes have become quite popular here on a scrumptious life.
I start by peeling and cutting 2 large sweet potatoes, adding them to boiling water and cooking until soft – approx. 10 minutes. Later I will mash the sweet potatoes with minced ginger, butter and milk and spread the mixture over the meat in the dishes.
White the sweet potatoes are cooking I get the meat portion started. I sauté diced onion and carrots in olive oil ( adding minced garlic and ginger, halfway through) until the onion is soft. Then I add the lamb and cook, until the meat is browned ( breaking the meat up as I stir). Then I drain the meat, put it back in the pan and add a tablespoon of flour and stir to coat. Then I add drained diced tomatoes, beef broth and spices- then I cook this down until there’s a nice gravy. I toss in some dried chopped dates and season with salt and pepper. Then I preheat the oven to 425 degrees. I put the mixture in the bottom of 1 cup ramekins, for individual servings, or a small casserole. Then I top the meat mixture with the mashed sweet potatoes, making sure to totally cover the meat. I place the dishes on a sheet pan, in case they drip over (which they did) and cook for 15-20 minutes. The dish will be bubbling hot.
For spices I used garlic, ginger, cumin and pumpkin pie spice – yes, you read that right – pumpkin pie spice. Why? because pumpkin pie spice is a combination of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg- all spices found in Moroccan dishes. It’s not just for Thanksgiving anymore!
I hope you’ll give this recipe a try. It’s so nice to jazz the basics up sometimes.