How to make Southwestern shepard's pie casserole

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There are few dishes more comforting or satisfying than shepherd's pie; it was the dish my mom made on cold January nights when we came in from sledding. This version keeps the classic combination of saucy meat and creamy potatoes but adds a distinctive Southwestern flair.
In a classic shepherd's pie, there’s little more than a sprinkling of peas to balance the richness of meat and potatoes. This version adds bell pepper, corn, and green onion for enticing color and bright flavors. Sweet potatoes replace regular mashers, adding both flavor and nutrients.
Southwestern shepherd's pie
30 minutes
45 minutes
1 hour, 15 minutes
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, divided
2 lbs. (900 g) ground beef
1 tablespoon (8 g) cumin
1 tablespoon (8 g) chili powder
2 1/2 teaspoons salt (16 g), divided
5 green onions, thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons dark green tops reserved
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup (175 g) frozen corn
1 can (14 oz., 400 g) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 cup (100 g) shredded cheddar, divided
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease a 9" x 13" baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
Place sweet potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a large skillet, breaking up with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Add cumin, chili powder and 2 teaspoons salt and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in green onion and bell peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Remove from heat and add corn, tomatoes and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese. Pour into prepared baking dish.
When potatoes are tender, drain and mash with remaining 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and milk. Spread over meat mixture. Sprinkle top with cheese and reserved green onion.
Bake for 45 minutes, until browned on top and bubbling.
Pro tip: For a spicy variation, stir a diced jalapeño in with peppers and onions in step 4.
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