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Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Mash

4-6 servings

Here is an authentic shepherd’s pie, made with ground lamb. It’s also good with a 50:50 combination of beef and pork if you can’t find lamb. Instead of the traditional mashed potato topping, use sweet potatoes, which provide more nutrients and less starch and are a better match for lamb… Go on, try it.


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • Ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lb/450 g ground lamb
  • 1 can (14 oz/400 mL) plum tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup/250 mL chicken stock or broth
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Assemble, prepare and measure ingredients. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Chop carrots. Chop celery. Dice onion. Slice bacon into batons.
  2. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat, add sweet potatoes, and cook for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and mash with butter and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
  3. While sweet potatoes are cooking, warm olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaves and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until onions are translucent and carrots are tender. Add bacon and fry for 5 minutes, or until it has rendered most of its fat but isn’t dark brown. Add lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, stock, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil. Turn down heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until liquid has reduced by half. Remove and discard bay leaf, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C. Pour lamb mixture into a 13- x 9-inch/2 L baking dish and spread sweet potatoes in an even layer over top. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbling and browned in places.
  5. To serve, cut into big squares and place on individual plates.