Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Topped Rancher's Pie

Sweet Potato Topped Rancher's Pie recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Truly a feast for the mouth, if not the eyes; this was a delicious meal that my entire family was happy to eat. Sweet potatoes, vegetables and meat have never before combined in such a fabulous one dish meal in my kitchen. Seasoned with balsamic vinegar and Italian seasonings, all the flavors worked together even better than I had hoped. This meal is certain to be made repeatedly in the future.

Mouthwatering is not the word I typically use to describe a shepherd pie or a cottage pie. This is man food, right? I have never been a big fan of dishes featuring ground beef as a main component. However, we recently switched to buying all-natural grass fed beef from a local ranch and I wanted to give the meat a chance to impress me. It did not let me down. I'm beyond impressed and can hardly wait to try a couple of different cuts next week.

Sweet Potato Topped Rancher's Pie
recipe adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
Yield: 5-6 servings
(printable recipe)

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 large yellow onion
3-4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, diced into 1/2" pieces
1 14 ounce can of sliced stewed tomatoes
optional: 2-3 tablespoons diced roasted green chiles, this added some depth to the flavor, but absolutely no heat at all
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
dash of nutmeg
milk, adjust as needed, I used about 2-3 tablespoons

Set a medium size pan of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Peel and dice sweet potatoes into 1" pieces. Add them to the water on the stove and sprinkle salt into the pot with them. Cook until fork tender, this should take less than 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook and crumble the ground beef over medium heat. When it is almost browned, drain off any fat and add the onions, garlic and carrots. Cook about 5 more minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the tomatoes and press them with the back of a spoon to release the juices and break them into bite size pieces. Add the green chiles if desired, the vinegar, parsley, basil, thyme and cinnamon. Cook until the liquid is reduced. Taste and then season with salt and pepper. Adjust as desired. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain the potatoes and mash gently with a potato masher. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Add just a splash of milk and stir until the potatoes are smooth and fluffy.

Layer the beef mixture into a baking dish and then top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Bake in the center of the oven for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Topped Rancher's Pie recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen


  1. Ooooh... I've not seen a cottage pie topped with sweet potatoes before... I love it!!

  2. Isn't grass-fed beef wonderful! Once we purchase our deep chest freezer, we are going to buy half a cow and it will for sure be grass fed!

    1. It really is! We're looking into ordering a half in the near future as well. We initially thought we'd want to try meat from some different ranches near us, but we are already so impressed with what we tried from this one. I hope everything we try is this good. We cooked a chuck roast earlier this week with nothing else, absolutely NO seasonings and it was the best roast I have ever tasted.

  3. Thanks so much for visiting my gardening blog. We all love sweet potatoes her, even the doggies..cant wait to try it! I will be adding you to my cooking blog:)

  4. It looks wonderful... I love the sweet potato topping.

  5. the grass fed beef you used here definitely makes thus a winner! and awesome sweet potato topping too! also made a variation on shepherd's pie using haggis, which is kind of a sausage with the sheep's offals instead, so nourishing and incredibly flavourful, and swede (rutabaga) as the topping! Love to use sweet root veg to replace normal potatoes, great minds think aliek ;)

  6. This looks delicious Mary! I have to admit I love shepherds pie and anything like it. But I am a sucker for potatoes and veggies mixed with meat (although I prefer corn as the veggie).

    We are going to have to talk about this ranch...

  7. great way to change up a shepherd's pie---actually more nutritious too! We are lucky to have several local farms that are raising free-range, grass-fed animals. The meat is expensive, but excellent, and we are happy to support our area producers.

  8. Such a great idea to use sweet potatoes. My husband would really love this. I agree about the ground beef - maybe I've just been buying the wrong stuff. I'll have to look for a better butcher situation. Thanks!

  9. Looks delicious Mary - I'd never heard of Rancher Pie, but since I love cottage pie & sweet potatoes, I will add this to the try list.

  10. Mary,

    looks amazing! Making this for dinner sometime this week.

    : ) Dagny

  11. Love the vibrant color of using the sweet potato. Looks delish!

  12. I love sweet potatoes. This looks great!

  13. This is brilliant! Replacing the common mash with sweet potato mash is a great healthy alternative to cook this dish.

  14. Shepherd's pie is a regular dinner in our house, and I would love it with sweet potatoes. I am always fascinated to see what spices you use, I would never have come up with the balsamic vinegar, chilies and cinnamon, but it sounds amazing.

  15. This looks really yummy. I would never thought of using sweet potatoes in a dish like this, but sounds wonderful and I love the color that the sweet potatoes add.

  16. This is beautiful! How I never thought about putting sweet potato on Ranchers pie, I dont know. Absolutely astounding!

  17. I have never been a fan of shephards pie but I have always thought about replacing the potatoes with sweet potato or squash. I think it would be especially yummy if you added vanilla into the sweet potato puree, just like your other recipe.