Southwest Shepherd's Pie! YUM!
Went searching through my slow cooker cookbook and found a recipe that even Matt would like. I’ve discovered that I truly love sweet potatoes. My mom informs me that they were my favorite food when I was a baby! So tasty . . .
The following is from Delicious & Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. I’m liking this cookbook, especially since it has pictures. Who doesn’t see a picture of a tasty dish and say “I want to make THAT!”
2 dried New Mexico chili peppers (I used about 4 dried chipotle peppers that I had lying around)
2 c. boiling water
1 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
2 lbs stewing pork cut into 1 inch cubes (I used pork chops)
2 onions finely chopped (I used dried minced onions since Matt doesn’t like onions, shh!!)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (REMEMBER TO WEAR GLOVES WHEN WORKING WITH HOT PEPPERS! I learned that the hard way once!)
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
1 tsp. grated lime zest (Oh my did that lime smell good as I was zesting it!)
1/2 c. lime juice
4 medium sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed (I used 5 small to medium ones)
The recipe also called for 2 tbsp. of butter and 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar to add to the mashed sweet potatoes. While that’s not a lot, why mess with perfectly delicious and naturally sweetened sweet potatoes!?!
- In a heatproof bowl, soak New Mexico chilies in boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain, discarding soaking liquid and stems. Pat dry, chop finely and set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork, in batches, and brown on all sides. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. (I ignored this browning of the pork and just stuck it right into the crock pot raw, which was a suggestion on the side of the page)
- Reduce heat to medium. Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened. (Again, no onions, oh well!) Add garlic, jalapeno peppers, cumin seeds, oregano, cinnamon, allspice, salt, peppercorns, and reserved New Mexico chilies and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in lime zest and juice. Pour mixture over pork and stir to combine.
- Sweet potato topping: in a bowl mix together sweet potatoes, brown sugar, and butter until well combined. Season to taste. (Ignored that aside from the mashing of the baked sweet potatoes)
- Spread topping over pork mixture. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4 hours, until pork is tender and mixture is hot bubbling.
Again, I used the little food processor to finely chop my peppers (and hide them from Matt). Also, I did add some more oil while combining all of the spices, peppers, etc., since it was burning off. Here is a picture of all of it added together:
The author suggests serving this with a salad or green vegetable, so we cooked up some frozen peas. Peas are one of my favorite veggies and one that Matt ACTUALLY eats!
This was SERIOUSLY good! I think next time I make it, I will use MORE SWEET POTATOES (MORE COWBELL!). The sweet potatoes will also cut down on the spiciness.
Mmmmm . . . time for PE studying. Oh yeah, good news today! So in reducing my hours to 4 days per week, I was required to reduce my vacation accrual and holiday hours (6.4 hours as opposed to 8). THEN they changed the policy at work (since we are light on work now), and I can go back to my full vacation accrual and charge 8 hours for holidays! They will retroactively give me some hours back since the policy went into affect January 1, 2010! YAY!!