Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Adapted from Everyday Food,October 2007

Prep time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 4-6

3 slices whole wheat or rye bread, crusts removed
1/3 cup chicken stock or water
2 lb/ 900 g ground beef (chicken or turkey works too)
2 tbsp fresh thyme (oregano or rosemary would work too) or 2 tsp dried
½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 egg
¼ cup BBQ sauce (ketchup would work)
Salt & pepper to taste
½ - ¾ cup red onion, very thinly sliced
1½ -2 lb/ 750-900g sweet potatoes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 tbsp fresh thyme

1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

2. Pulse the garlic and the bread in a food processor until the bread becomes fine bread crumbs. Transfer to a small bowl, add the chicken stock, mix and let sit for 10 minutes to soften.

3. In a large bowl, mix the meat, egg, BBQ sauce, onion, and thyme. Add the breadcrumb mixture. Blend well but don’t over mix or the loaf will become too dense.

4. Place in a loaf pan, top with thinly sliced onions and bake for about 45 minutes. (A meat thermometer will register 160°F/70°C. The onions will get very crispy and almost look burnt…not to worry, it’s exactly what you want. Remove the loaf from the oven and pour off the excess juices. Cover with foil while you prepare the topping.

5. Topping: I just microwave the sweet potatoes until they are soft, but you could put them in the oven with the meat loaf. If you do, wrap them in tin foil for easy clean up.

6. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, peel & mash them in a small bowl. Add some thyme, salt & pepper and layer evenly over the drained meat loaf. Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes.

Nothing could be easier or more comforting after a hard, frazzled day!

This is delicious for South Beach Dieters, Phase Two. I like to serve it with braised Brussels sprouts and caramelized shallots.

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