August 18, 2008

Sausage Sheperd's Pie with Sweet Potatoes and Squash

Amanda Potter, Epicurious

This has a lovely sweetness to it. Even though it has the same basic elements, it's very different from regular sheperd's pie.

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 3 cups) (or a 1-lb. package of frozen, thawed)
1 medium russet potato, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 T butter
2 T maple syrup

1 1/2 lbs. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 C chopped onions
1 T minced garlic
3/4 C frozen peas
3/4 C frozen corn
1/3 C whipping cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 t curry powder
1/2 t ground coriander
6 drops hot pepper sauce

Cook sweet potatoes, squash, and russet potato in boiling water until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain. Return all potatoes and squash to saucepan and mash. Stir over medium heat until excess moisture evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add butter and syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mash mixture until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage is brown and cooked through, breaking up with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to large bowl; reserve 1 T of drippings in skillet. Add onions and garlic to skillet and sauté over medium-high heat until onions are tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add onion mixture to sausage. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool. Mix in peas, corn, cream, egg, curry powder, coriander, and hot sauce.

Transfer sausage mixture to prepared baking dish. Spoon mashed potato mixture over; smooth top. Bake until heated through and potatoes begin to brown around edges, about 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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