Inspired by a Rachael Ray recipe she calls a "shepherd's pie", in good conscience I have to call last night's effort a cottage pie because it's made with a meat other than lamb. There - now you know the difference between a cottage pie and a shepherd's pie but I suppose it doesn't really matter anyway does it - except maybe to a traditionalist. Is that too much information? Whew!
Anyway, I used a pork/apple sausage created by Big Guy to make this lovely homey casserole; however, you could certainly substitute chicken/apple sausage or even ground turkey or pork if you wish. Joined by onion, carrots and celery and moistened with prepared turkey gravy (I know I'm a lazy lout), the individual casseroles cried for a potato topping ...but not just any old potato topping ya know!
I cooked a large sweet potato (yam actually) in the microwave for 8 minutes, then peeled and gave it a mash along with a little butter, smidge of salt and a 4 ounce container of unsweetened apple sauce. Perched on top of the ramekins I took the opportunity to guild Big Guy's portion with frozen corn kernels and mine with peas. (I hide 'em in the back of the freezer because you know who hates the things)
The result - pure blissful total comfort food and two very happy people, one of whom's going to be even happier when he opens his lunch cooler later today.
Sausage Sweet Potato Cottage Pie (from JBug’s Kitchen inspired by Rachel Ray, foodnetwork.com)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound pork/apple sausage removed from casings (or chicken/apple or ground poultry or pork)
1 teaspoon ground poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 – 12 ounce jar turkey gravy (I used Heinz)
1 large sweet potato or yam (about 1 pound)
1 – 4 ounce container unsweetened apple sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Salt & coarse ground black pepper
1 cup frozen corn kernels, or green peas (or both)
Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, crumble in sausage meat and cook, stirring with a fork until cooked through – about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and garlic powder, stir well and cook for another minute. Move to a casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray (or individual ramekins). Add onion, carrot and celery to sauté pan and cook until vegetables have softened. About 10 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and move vegetables to casserole dish(es). Pour turkey gravy over top.
Meanwhile, prick potato with a fork, then microwave on high until cooked through – about 8 minutes. Cool slightly and peel, placing flesh into a small bowl. Add butter and apple sauce and mash until light and fluffy. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Pile into center of casserole and surround with corn kernels or peas. Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Makes 4 servings.
A year ago - Grilled Chicken Margarita on Green Chile Rice
Two year's ago - Sloppy Bombay Joe's