Southwestern Sweet Potato Pie
A layered casserole with an optional (jalapeno)-spiced ground beef filling topped by a cheddar mashed sweet potato crust. This packs a great blend of southwest flavors to help elevate the classic to a whole new level of deliciousness.
1 + 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Coconut oil, for sautéing
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt and fresh black pepper
Optional: 1 can (4 ounce) fire roasted jalapenos (hotter) or green chilies (mild)
1 lb ground beef or lamb
2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular oregano), crushed between fingertips
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tomatoes, diced (the less juice the better)
2 cups fresh shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp heavy cream
Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
Add the sweet potatoes to a large saucepan with enough water to cover the potatoes completely. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender.
Meanwhile in a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium low heat. Add the onion, pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook 7-8 minutes, stirring often. Add the green chilies if you are adding and cook 2-3 more minutes. Remove the vegetables to a small bowl and set aside.
Turn the heat up to medium and add the ground meat, cook, breaking it apart until completely browned. Drain off the grease. Mix in the chile powder, oregano and cumin. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix in the cooked vegetables and the tomatoes. Cook 10 minutes stirring often. Taste and season as needed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put a large cookie sheet on the bottom rack to catch drips. Butter a 9x9-inch casserole or baking dish or a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.
Drain the sweet potatoes and add them to a large bowl with the butter and heavy cream. Season well with salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher. Mix in 1 cup of the cheddar.
Add the ground meat mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cup of cheese over top. Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over top.
Bake 30 minutes. Let set 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
*For a spicier heat use fresh red chili peppers instead, chipotle peppers in adobo or cayenne pepper.