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Southern-style shepherd's pie

As posted on Boston.com and adapted from "Rachael Ray: Just in Time!"

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground pork or turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium parsnips, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Have on hand an 8-to-9-inch square baking dish.
2. In a large pot of boiling water, simmer the potatoes for 15 minutes or until they are tender. Drain and set aside.
3. Add the butter and banana to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the orange rind and juice. Return the sweet potatoes to the pan with the cream, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mash the potatoes until they are smooth. Keep warm.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the meat and cook it, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, for 7 to 8 minutes or until well browned.
5. Add the onion, parsnips, and celery. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
6. Set the oven at 400 degrees.
7. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Sprinkle with flour and continue stirring for 2 minutes to cook the flour.
8. Add the Swiss chard and stir for a few minutes or until it wilts. Pour in the chicken stock, bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mixture is cooked through and thickened. Remove from the heat.
9. Stir the peas and parsley into the meat mixture. Transfer to the baking dish. Top with the mashed potato mixture, spreading them evenly. Bake the pie for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are lightly browned.

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“Southern-style shepherd's pie”