It is incomprehensible to me, but my son - yes, Jeremy, who's usually such a cooperative eater - doesn't like Shepherd's Pie. It has all his favorite foods in it: meat, gravy and, particularly, mashed potatoes. I often top it with grated cheese. He hates it. What's a mother to do???
Make a variation on the theme, that's what. Use breakfast sausage, chopped apple, cider, and sweet potatoes ... et, voila! One of Jeremy's favorite dishes of all time!
Yeah, technically a "shepherd's" pie is made with lamb. But there's still ground meat for a base, there's gravy, and there's a kinda-sorta mashed potato on top. This dish is sweeter, though, more colorful, and a nice twist on tradition.
Now, this isn't technically a Hallowe'en recipe: there's no candy corn, and there are no spider webs made out of frosting. But the topping is orange, like a pumpkin! So, since "Trick or Treat"-ing comes on Wednesday and you might still be seeking ideas for your dinner or a party, I thought I'd offer this dish as well as some links to previous posts about the festivities:
Hallowe'en Dipped Marshmallows
Sweet 'n' Salty Caramel Corn Mix
Sausage-Apple-Yam Shepherd's Pie
- 2 very large sweet potatoes
- 1 pound breakfast sausage, hot or mild
- 2 large Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" dice
- 3 large scallions, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- generous sprinkling freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 cups apple cider
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
Preheat oven to 425F. Prick sweet potatoes, then bake for 90 minutes until very tender. Let cool until you can handle them.
Place sausage into a large saucepan; break up sausage and cook it over medium heat. When sausage is half done, add apples and scallions; saute for 5 minutes, then add salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, until apples are tender.
Meanwhile, melt together butter and cornstarch. Slowly add cider, stirring it into the butter mixture until incorporated before adding more liquid. Once all the cider has been added, bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.
Place the sausage mixture into a casserole dish, then stir in the cider gravy.
Cut the sweet potatoes in half, then scoop out flesh into a mixing bowl. Mash sweet potatoes, then spread over the sausage. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the top.
Bake for 45 minutes.