This recipe is a variation on Shepard’s pie with more grown up flavors. Fennel and tomatoes are swapped for peas, sweet potatoes warm up the mashed potatoes and added spices and red wine will remind you of southern France.
Given this reheats well and makes excellent leftovers – why not make lots?
Red Wine and Fennel Shepards Pie(serves 6)
1. You will need to prepare the mashed potatoes and the filling, which you can do simultaneously. To make the mashed potatoes peel the potatoes and the sweet potato, cut into quarters and place in a large pot. Cover with water by an inch plus add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and boil until tender. Drain the water and return hot potatoes to the pan. Smash roughly with a potato masher along with the butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a large high sided skillet put the olive oil and turn pan to medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, carrot and celery along with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and the herbes de provence. Stir until softened. Add the beef and continue cooking until no longer visibly raw.
3. Add the red wine and bring to a simmer, simmer until reduced by half. Stir in the flour, followed by the tomato sauce and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes, or longer if you have the time. Turn oven on to 350F.
4. Pour the beef into a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes at 350F or until piping hot.