Beef Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes

Serves 6 – 8


1 ½ lbs. stew meat cut into ¾ inch chunks patted dry and brought to room temperature
½ large stalk fennel chopped into ¼ inch chunks
1 shallot, about 2 ½ inches long, chopped into large chunks
2 T light oil
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 ½ C dark red small heirloom tomatoes cut in half or you can use cherry tomatoes
½ C beef broth
¼ C fruity red wine
½ C smooth tomato sauce, unseasoned
1 t good paprika
1-2 t of kosher salt and 1 t black pepper (To taste. It will depend upon the seasoning of the beef broth so be sure and taste it!)
3 T corn starch dissolved in a little water
Large stalk of rosemary
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
¼ C heavy cream
4 T salted butter
Extra kosher salt for potatoes
½ t of a good quality light and complex curry powder\
Handful of chopped Italian leaf parsley for garnish


  • Bring oil to hot in a large sauté pan and add shallot, fennel, tomatoes, and beef. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onions are transparent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine, stock, and tomato sauce, and garlic, and nestle in the rosemary stalk and mix all together. Cook covered on a low simmer for 1 hour.
  • While beef is simmering, boil sweet potatoes covered in water until soft. Drain, add the cream, butter, salt, and curry. Blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Set aside with lid on but no need to keep burner on. After the hour, remove lid on beef and mix and remove from heat, then stir in the cornstarch mixed with water and thicken beef mixture until it resembles gravy consistency.
  • Pour all of the meat mixture in a glass baking dish with high sides, about 8 by 12 inches, and spread until covering the bottom evenly. Then carefully spread the top with the mashed sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with a little of the parsley. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes until bubbling and hot throughout. Serve with another flourish of parsley!

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