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Southern-Style Shepherd's Pie


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 pound ground beef sirloin

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 medium parsnips (about 8 ounces), peeled and thinly sliced

  • 3 ribs celery, sliced

  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (dark or light)

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard (about 6 ounces), stemmed and chopped

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

  • 1/2 stick butter

  • 1 banana, sliced

  • 1 orange, zested and juiced

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 package frozen peas (10 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls), chopped


Pre-heat oven 400°F.

Place a pot of water on the stove over high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, start the meat and veggies: Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add all of the meat and cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon into small bits. Cook until well-browned, about 5-7 minutes. Add the onion, parsnip and celery. Continue to cook, stirring every now and then for 10 minutes. 

Add cider vinegar and sugar, and stir. Sprinkle mixture with the flour, and stir again for another 2 minutes so the flour cooks a little. Add the Swiss chard and stir until it is wilted down. Add chicken stock, bring up to a bubble, and then simmer for a few minutes until the mixture is cooked and has thickened. Remove from heat.

Boil sweet potatoes until tender; drain and reserve. Return the pot to the stovetop over medium heat. Add butter and bananas to the pot.

Cook bananas in the butter for 5 minutes, and then add the orange juice and zest to the pot. Cook until the juice is gone, about one more minute. Add cooked, reserved potatoes back to the pot and add the heavy cream. Mash everything together. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper, to your taste.

To the meat and veggie mixture, add the peas and the parsley, and stir to combine. 

Pour into a baking dish, top with the mashed sweet potatoes and spread them out evenly. Transfer to the oven and bake until the top of the potatoes are lightly browned, about 15-20 minutes.