PICADILLO PIE TOPPED WITH SWEET POTATO
Eat Caribbean by Virginia Burke
Cuba - Ground-beef hash or 'picadillo' as it is known in Cuba is traditionally served with a fried egg on top. Taking a bit of licence here, I've turned the basic recipe into a spicy filling for a sweet potato 'shepherds pie'. This way you'll get a tummy-warming one-pot meal!
Preparation time: 45 minutes + 20 minutes cooking.
• 2 tbsp oil
• 2 onions, minced
• 1½ lb ground beef
• 1 scotch bonnet pepper, de-seeded and minced (or other hot pepper)
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 sweet pepper (red or green), de-seeded and chopped
• 4 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
• 2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
• 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
• 2 tsp dried oregano
• 1/4 tsp ground cloves
• 2 tbsp golden raisins
• 1 tsp salt
• 3 tbsp chopped stuffed green olives
• 2 tbsp capers, rinsed (optional)
• freshly ground black pepper
For the topping:
• 4 sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/4 tsp ground allspice
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Put the sweet potatoes in a pan of salted water and boil until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for about 6 minutes until soft.
3. Add the meat and cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes or until lightly coloured.
4. Add the hot pepper, garlic, green or red pepper, tomatoes, parsley, cumin, oregano, cloves, golden raisins, salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Stir in the chopped olives and capers and cook for a further few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Put into a casserole dish, leaving space for the sweet potato topping.
6. Mash the sweet potatoes with the butter and milk and season with allspice. Put this on top of the picadillo and spread evenly. Place in the hot oven for 20 minutes or until the potato topping starts to brown on the edges.