Picadillo Pie

March 04,2009
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird( )

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

This recipe started out as a standard shepherd’s pie idea. But then I remembered that my boys love mashed sweet potatoes about 100 times more than regular mashed potatoes. I was researching ways to do shepherd’s pie when I stumbled across an old recipe I used to make for picadillo, and this idea was born. Picadillo is a South American or Cuban dish made with ground meat, tomatoes, olives, raisins, and local vegetables. It resembles the ground beef mixture that is the beef layer of shepherd’s pie, so I thought I would try my hand at combining picadillo with shepherd’s pie, topping the pie with sweet potatoes instead of regular old mashed potatoes. The result? A definite make-again. Picadillo Pie 1 pound lean ground beef (92% lean or higher) 1 medium onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced One 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes, UNdrained ½ cup chopped green olives ½ cup raisins 1 roasted red pepper, diced 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 4 medium sweet potatoes, baked and peeled Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, brown the beef, onion, and garlic over medium-high heat. Once the meat is fully cooked, add the tomatoes and all remaining ingredients except the sweet potatoes. Cook for about 5-10 minutes over medium heat, until the mixture thickens. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mash the sweet potatoes until no lumps remain. Pour the beef mixture into the bottom of a two-quart or 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with the sweet potatoes (or half sweet potatoes and half regular potatoes, which is what we did): Bake for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes begin to brown. Serves 6-8. Sweet! SPC