Main Dish

Sweet Potato Cottage Pie

Rued Winery

3850 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • RECIPE YEAR: 2013
  • RECIPE BY: Randi Kauppi, Oui Cater
  • YIELD: Serves 6
  • PAIRS WELL WITH: Rued Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel

This twist on a classic cottage pie features a hearty filling of ground beef, salty olives, savory tomatoes and warming spices, which rein in the sweetness of the creamy sweet potato topping. It's a perfect dish for a crisp autumn evening in Sonoma County.

Sweet Potato Topping

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
To prepare the sweet potato topping, preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place them, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until very tender, about 30 minutes.

When the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the milk, cheese, butter, salt and pepper and beat with a hand mixer on low speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Set aside.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 can (14 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes with juices
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the celery, carrot, onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Add the garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beef, season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Tilt the pan and spoon off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, then return the pan to the heat.

Pour the tomatoes and juices into a small bowl and crush them with your hands or a fork. Add to the meat mixture and cook, uncovered, until the mixture is thick, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the olives and raisins and cook for a few minutes more. Adjust the seasoning with salt.

Transfer the beef mixture to a 9-inch baking dish. Spread the sweet potatoes over the top in an even layer. Bake until the pie is bubbling around the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Rued Winery

3850 Dry Creek Road
Healdsburg, CA 95448