Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Cooking: 1 hr 10 min
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  • Shepherd's pie with sweet potato topping is a real family favourite. This traditional dish has been given a twist with the sweet potato topping - not just a fantastic colour but a great taste too.

    Give the traditional lamb dish a twist with this sweet potato topping. It’s not just got a fantastic colour, it tastes great too. This recipe serves 4 people and will take around 1hr and 10 mins to prepare and cook – and is well worth the wait. This hearty meal can be made in bulk and stored in the fridge or freezer. Leftovers need to be thoroughly reheated before serving.


    • 450g (1lb) lean lamb mince
    • 1tbsp oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 3 baby leeks, chopped
    • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
    • 1tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
    • 1tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
    • 1tbsp flour
    • 275ml (9floz) lamb stock
    • 1tbsp tomato puree
    • 1tbsp Worcestershire sauce
    • For the topping:
    • 900g (2lb) sweet potatoes
    • 50g (2oz) butter
    • 50g (2oz) mature cheddar


    • Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the mince, leeks and carrots and cook until the meat is nicely browned. Season the meat and add the thyme and parsley.

    • Stir in the flour and gradually add the stock to the mince. Stir in the tomato puree. Cover and reduce the heat and simmer for 30-35 mins, stirring occasionally.

    • Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-12 mins or until tender. Drain and return to the pan, but away from the heat. Add the butter and mash until smooth. Season.

    • When the mince is cooked, check the seasoning and spoon into four individual oven-proof dishes. Spread the mashed sweet potato over the meat and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 15 mins at 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6) or until the top is beginning to colour brown and piping hot.

    Top tip for making Shepherd’s pie with sweet potato topping

    Don't over-boil sweet potatoes as they can become very wet when mashed. You can add a number of vegetables to Shepherd's pie, such as swede, turnip or parsnip. The topping can also be made with half potatoes and half sweet potato - add a pinch of nutmeg for added interest.

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