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Individual Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

This traditional dish has been given a twist with the sweet potato topping – not only a fantastic colour but adds a certain sweetness to the dish. Do not over boil sweet potatoes or they can become very wet when mashed.


450g lean lamb mince
1 tbsp oil
1 onions, chopped
3 baby leeks, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp flour
275ml lamb stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
For the topping:
900g sweet potatoes
50g butter
50g 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 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. Place in a pan of boiling water and cook for 10-12 minutes 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 mash sweet potato over the meat and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 15 minutes at 200c or until the top is beginning to colour brown and piping hot.

Alternative suggestions

You can add a number of vegetable to Shepherd’s pie - sewed, turnip or parsnip.

The topping can also be made with half potatoes and half sweet potato - add a pinch of nutmeg for added interest.