Sweet Potato and Ground Beef Pie
This Sweet Potato and Ground Beef Pie is my new favorite dish EVER, I swear. It looks so distinguished and elegant, yet it’s so super easy to make. A tiny bit time consuming maybe, but super easy nonetheless. And I’m sure that once you’ve tried it, it’ll become a favorite of yours as well and you will be making it your own in no time.
Because this is the kind of recipe that doesn’t even really require a recipe. This is the kind of recipe that you can easily adapt to whatever you have in the fridge. You can basically use any combination of meat and vegetables, and even add nuts or dried fruits if you wanted to, why not?
Seriously, the possibilities are virtually endless. Let’s take a closer look and discuss our options, shall we?
Oh, right. I almost forgot. There might be this one small detail that may be some sort of an issue. You see, it is pretty much absolutely necessary that you own a mandolin to put this beautiful pie together. The sweet potatoes really HAVE to be super thin for the final product to look like it’s supposed to. In fact, they need to be thin enough that if you pinch them between your fingers and have both “ends” meet, they will not snap but rather bend nicely.
But seriously, if you don’t own one yet, might I suggest you treat yourself a nice present? I swear, you will NOT regret it. It might be a tad pricey to buy at first, but if you get a good one, you will get YEARS of service out of it and you’ll be very surprised with how often you actually use it.
I know I could never be without mine.
Alright, so once you’ve gotten your sweet potatoes sliced really thin, you want to arrange them at the bottom of a springform pan, in a circular fashion, making sure that each slice is slightly overlapping the previous one.
Then go around the side so it gets completely covered, too. And oh, if your potato slices refuse to stay put, use a few paper or hair clips to help hold them in place.
Uhm, yeah. You might want to wash them first!
Blanch your broccoli florets by giving them a quick steam bath or sending them for a flash trip to the microwave, then drain them real nice and spread them at the bottom of the pan, right over the slices of sweet potatoes.
I used broccoli this time, but shaved Brussels sprout are also very good. I’m thinking cauliflower would surely be equally delicious. Or finely diced turnips, or even sauteed zucchini, why not?
Check your fridge, I’m sure you’ll find something that works!
Pour your ground beef and spinach mixture right on top.
Again here, you could make so many substitutions! Of course, ground chicken, pork or even lamb would be fantastic, but who says we have to stick to minced meat? Why not throw in a few pieces of leftover cooked chicken or turkey, roast beef or BBQ pulled pork?
Oh, here’s an idea: how’s about you fill that up with a generous amount of sliced hard boiled eggs! Yum!
Now time to add the cheese, if using.
Frankly, I thought that the cheese really did a lot for the pie, even though I didn’t really add a lot. So if do tolerate cheese and do indulge from time to time (and aren’t currently doing a Whole30®), well, by all means, go nuts. This is definitely the place to do it.
I used a semi-firm cheese, something very similar to a St-Paulin, and the flavor worked wonderfully well with the pie. However, I don’t think that any variety would be a bad choice for this dish, so feel free to use whatever cheese you like.
And finally, the portobello mushrooms and bell peppers.
I was very fancy and decided to arrange the portobellos like a whirlwind then fill the gaps with chopped bell peppers. To be honest though, this part isn’t going to show when you cut into the pie, so unless like me you’re extremely detail oriented and/or taking pictures, don’t go too crazy here…
Of course, you don’t have to use portobellos either. Any kind of mushrooms will do. Don’t like mushrooms? Why not use eggplants. I’m sure they would be THE BOMB!
Red onions or scallions would be a great replacement for the bell peppers, and the addition of a handful of pieces of crispy bacon would surely take this to a whole new level. That or toasted hazelnuts!
See what I mean by endless possibilities? Oh, I just know I’m gonna be having so much fun creating a million different versions of this.
Alright, now here is the step where you want to be most meticulous. You want to arrange your final layer of sweet potatoes much like you did for the bottom layer, but this one has to look particularly nice.
This is, after all, what will give your pie it’s pretty looks!
So arrange your sweet potatoes really nicely, then place a snugly fitting plate on top, being careful to also include the potatoes that are standing on the side so they fold nicely over the top of the pie. If some of them refuse to cooperate, push them gently under the plate using a long thin object, such as a butter knife.
Cover with plastic film and place something fairly heavy over the plate, then place the whole rig in the refrigerator to rest overnight.
This will ensure that the layers really stick together and that the sweet potato slices that we amicably convinced to bend over the pie will happily comply and hold their shape nicely.
When hunger strikes and you’re good and ready for this baby, brush a little bit of melted ghee all over its top, cover it with aluminum foil and place it in the oven.
Now, be patient. And block your nose or something, ‘cuz the house is going to be filled with the most delicious aroma! But hey, you ain’t got long to wait anymore. Surely you can tough this.
Your pie is finally ready, YAY! But I’m afraid you’re gonna have to patient a little more and be good. This princess will need a few minutes to cool.
Just ten, fifteen at most!
There, that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now remove the ring then carefully slide the pie onto a serving plate by pulling on the parchment paper. I strongly advise you to leave the parchment paper under the pie. For one, it adds to the prettiness, but also too, I’m afraid that if you attempt removal, you will destroy all of your hard work.
Finally, it’s time to slice into that delicious pie. Are words really required here?
I thought not.
Here, I’ll give you a moment to recollect…
- 454g (1lb) grass-fed lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp Himalayan or fine sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos
- ½ tsp dry chili flakes
- 150g baby spinach leaves, chopped
- 2 cups broccoli, florets only, blanched
- ½ orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thickly
- 120g (4oz) semi-soft cheese of your choice, sliced (omit for strict paleo or Whole30)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced very thinly
- Salt and pepper to adjust seasoning
- 2 tbsp ghee, melted
- 1 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 2-3 walnut halves, finely chopped
- Line the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. To do that, remove the ring and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Fold the excess paper back under the plate and, while holding it in place with one hand, put the ring back in its position with the other hand. Bring the excess paper back from under the pan but do not cut it off.
- Grease the sides of the pan with lard or ghee or any other healthy and heat resistant fat you prefer.
- With the help of a mandolin, slice the sweet potatoes thinly enough that, if you pinch them between your fingers and have both "ends" meet, they will not snap.
- Cover the bottom of the springform pan with slices of sweet potatoes, arranging them in a circular fashion, each slice slightly overlapping the previous one; Then go around the side so it gets completely covered, too. Use clean paper or hair clips to help hold the slices in place against the side of the pan.
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, melt some cooking fat until it gets nice and hot then add the mushroom slices. Sprinkle with a little bit of salt and pepper and cook for about 3-4 minutes per side or until slightly golden.
- Meanwhile, in a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, melt some more cooking fat and throw in the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until the onion turns translucent then add the salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Stir and continue cooking for a few seconds then add the ground beef. Resume cooking until the ground beef is completely brown, then stir in the mustard, coconut aminos and chili flakes. Throw in the chopped spinach, stir well for a final time then kill the heat and set aside.
- Give the broccoli florets a quick steam bath by setting them over boiling water or place them in the microwave, partly covered, with a few tablespoons of water for about one minute. You only want to blanch the broccoli, not cook it all the way through.
- Drain really well and spread the broccoli florets at the bottom of the pan, right over the slices of sweet potatoes.
- Top with the ground beef mixture, followed by cheese, portobello mushrooms and bell peppers.
- Arrange another layer of sweet potatoes like you did for the bottom then place a snugly fitting plate on top, being careful to also include the potatoes that are standing on the side so they fold nicely over the top of the pie. Cover with a piece of plastic film then place a weight over the pie and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Brush melted ghee all over the top of the pie, cover with aluminum foil and place it in the oven for 50 minutes. After that time, remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes turn brown on the edges.
- Place on a cooling rack to cool for 10-15 minutes then run a rubber spatula very delicately along the side just to make sure that none of the potato slices are stuck. Remove the ring then carefully slide the pie onto a serving plate by pulling on the parchment paper. Do not remove the paper from underneath the pie.
- Brush with a little more melted ghee, if desired. Garnish with chopped walnuts and fresh parsley and serve.
I don’t know about you, but I just can’t get enough. Let’s drool a little bit more, whadayousay?
And one more for the road…
Boy am I glad I’m having this for breakfast again tomorrow! How ’bout you, what are you havin’?