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Shepherds pie… is it British or Irish? My mom insists Irish, I thought it was British.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

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!

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

  Do you think the British like Mexican food? Oh my gosh, I hope so.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

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.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

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.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

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.

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

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!

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Mini Sweet Potato Cheddar and Chorizo Sheperds Pies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories Per Serving: 796 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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  • 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 in chipotle chili 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!

Cheddar Sweet Potato and Chorizo Shepherds Pies |

Feeling like tomorrow is going to be sweeter though.

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  1. Cottage was an apt prefix when veggies or even beef was used. The term Shepherd was substituted when and if lamb was involved. It didn’t apply to veggie or cows since they don’t need shepherding and unless you have robotic sheep, “Cottage” doesn’t apply to lambs. And none of this applies to the British since they have no tasty food names associated with them. Honestly, that goes for architectural terms or names of clothing items either. They were only concerned with shoving something somewhat edible in their pie holes while wearing burlap and hiding from the elements in their grass and dung homes. Most terms having to do with those things or laws were gained from the Normans, Irish, Scottish and even other languages such as Arabic.

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