Shepherds pie… is it British or Irish? My mom insists Irish, I thought it was British.
I did a quick Google search on the topic which mostly pointed towards a British/Scottish origin. Seems the true origin dates back to the Scottish countryside in the 1700’s where the dish was made mostly by the poor from leftover lamb meat combined with gravy and mashed potatoes. It was originally called “cottage pie”. Shepherds pie didn’t come about for another 100 years or so when the Brits, who’d taken a liking to the pie but also added some veggies, favored the word shepherds over cottage. Apparently the word cottage was a term associated mostly with the poor. Since rich folks enjoyed the pie as well, “shepherds pie” came to be the term more widely used.
At some point the Irish did catch wind of this tasty little pie. They have been claiming it as their own ever since!
Do you think the British like Mexican food? Oh my gosh, I hope so.
I hope I am not offending them by turning their classic Shepherds Pie into a hard-core Mexican dish.
You see it just sort of happened one day when I had some chorizo and sweet potatoes on hand.
I mean why not?
I’ve made sweet potato chorizo tacos that were tasty, so I figured this was sure to be good as well.
I hoped. I prayed.
Yes. SO Good.
Spicy Mexican chorizo, with the cheesy, creamy sweet potatoes… it works! Topped off with diced avocado and a heavy sprinkle of cotija cheese, it is British food turned Mexican. So so good.
Oh and FYI – yesterday, I think I dropped and broke four bowls.
No, not I think. I did. It was rough. None of my shots worked either. Nothing seemed to go my way, which is why today’s post is short and sweet!
Mini Sweet Potato Cheddar and Chorizo Sheperds Pies
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, mince or grated
- 3/4 pound ground chorizo
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 orange pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained if using canned
- 1 cup spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for topping
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 avocado, diced, for serving
- crumbled Cotija cheese, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Using a fork prick the sweet potatoes all over and place in the oven. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. Remove from the oven and add to a large bowl, if desired peel away the skins (I left most of the skin on mine). Add the butter and milk and mash mash mash until they’re, well mashed! Add the chipotle chili, cinnamon, honey,cheddar cheese and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mash some more and get it super creamy.
In the meantime heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften, 4 minutes. Add the chorizo and brown the meat all over, breaking it up as you go. Add the red pepper, orange pepper, carrots and jalapeno. Cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and begin to caramelize. Add the chicken broth and tomato paste, cook another 5 minutes and then stir in the spinach, black beans and cilantro. Cook another minute or so and then remove from the heat.
Then divide the chorizo filling evenly among 4 ramekins. Spoon the mashed sweet potatoes on top of each pie. Arrange them on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for about 20 minutes or so.
Garnish with chopped cilantro, diced avocado + crumbled cotija. Serve!
Feeling like tomorrow is going to be sweeter though.