Squashed and Spicy Cottage Pie

It’s amazing how tastes change over time.  For example: I used to hate Shepard’s/Cottage pie. Something about the combination of mashed potatoes, ground beef, and corn just did not do it for childhood me.

During my undergrad, one of my two roommates ended up making Shepard’s pie all the time and I started getting used to the idea of the flavour combinations. Then over the summer, I discovered this recipe for Shepard’s pie which called for butternut squash to be added to the mashed potatoes and I was sold.  Unfortunately, Shepard’s pie isn’t something you just whip up in the heat of the summer, so it had to sit on the metaphoric back burner until I could bear the thought of turning on the oven.

Well that day has arrived and boy was it delicious. One modification I made to the original recipe was using Sriracha hot sauce in the recipe instead of Heinz chili sauce. This substitution definitely pumped up the heat factor but made for an interesting (and delicious change). Butternut squash turned out to be a pretty good addition to the  mashed potato layer and I was quite happy with the results. The recipe makes 3-4 hungry man-sized portions.

Recipe below 

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 1/2 T flour
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 T Sriracha
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced (I used russets)
  • 2 cups butternut squash peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese
  1. In a frying pan cook onions, garlic and beef over medium heat until no longer pink.  Add carrots, corn and peas and stir
  2. In a bowl mix together stock, flour, sriracha and Worcestershire sauce.  Add to meat with salt and pepper.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for at least 5 minutes. Sauce should thicken
  4. In a large pot add potatoes to water and bring to bowl
  5. Add squash and continue to cook until easily pierced with a fork (took about 15 minutes)
  6. Drain squash/potatoes and return to pot
  7. Add cheese and cover pot for a few minute to allow the cheese to melt
  8. Add sour cream and salt and mash until smooth
  9. In a casserole dish, layer the meat mixture and then mashed vegetables
  10. Place in a preheated 375 oven for 25 minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and enjoy!

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