“Nothing is sacred when it comes to food; as long as it tastes good, any combination goes.” At least, that’s what I say! When you think this way, you end up with some awesome collisions of cultural cuisines—like this! (Just a disclaimer, though—there is absolutely nothing authentically “enchilada” about this. That’s the closest thing that this dish reminds me of, so… Enchilada Pie it is.)
Basically, this is a shepherd’s pie with a Southwestern twist—ground beef in a spicy tomato sauce topped with creamy sweet potatoes. Yum!
My favorite thing about this recipe is getting multiple meals from it. I cook three pounds of ground beef or turkey; half of that is for this meal and the rest I save for another meal, like taco salads, burritos, or Chipotle Breakfast Bake. You can also just double the amount of potatoes and make two pans of enchilada pie; it freezes well and you can just pop it in the oven another day. (Gotta love killing multiple birds with one stone. I really am depressed by meals that produce no leftovers; seriously, I feel like I wasted my time for nothing. Leftovers = Awesome.)
Start by throwing a pot of water on the stove with some sweet potatoes and potatoes. I like to use both, but sweet potato is the dominant flavor, so you can just use sweet potatoes if you prefer. I wash them up and throw them in the water with the skins on. Once they’re boiled and super soft, I hold them under cold water and rub the peel off. Easy-peasy. (Note: this method works well on white potatoes, and I’d imagine it would on gold or red potatoes as well, but I’ve never tried it with Russet. No promises there.)
For the meat, I usually use an equal combination of ground beef and ground turkey, but you can do either individually or in whatever combination you prefer. I won’t go into too much detail here; I’m assuming you can follow a recipe. I do want to explain about the flax meal, though. If you so choose, you can dissolve a couple tablespoons of flax meal in a cup of hot water and add it to the meat mixture. This gels a bit and gives the sauce more of a gravy texture (not much, really, but a bit). If you don’t have flax meal around, not a deal breaker AT ALL. It is totally optional, but I like to offer the option.
Once you’ve added all the tomatoes and spices to the browned meat, throw in some finely chopped kale and let it cook until tender. To make sure it is evenly distributed and cooks, it really should be chopped finely. If you’re starting from a bag of washed and cut kale from the store, you may need to chop it a bit more. I find the easiest and least messy way to do this is to throw it in a bowl and use my kitchen shears to cut it up. Kale in dishes with chili spices adds a nice variation in the taste and texture and complements it very well. I suppose you could use other greens, like spinach, instead but I prefer kale.
Spread out half the meat (remember, the other half is for another pan of this or a different meal- yippee!) in a casserole dish. For this amount, I like the proportions when I use a 12×18 inch casserole but you can use any size. Just adjust the amounts and do whatever seems good. Everything is already cooked, so it’s not like you need to worry that you’ll eat something raw because you layered it too think.
Throw the peeled potatoes in a bowl (or blender). An immersion blender or blender works best in whipping up the sweet potatoes because they are so stringy. You could use a mixer, but you’ll end up with a bunch of sweet potato fibers twisted all around your beaters (I once found that one out too late). Add the oil and spices and blend. Spread the mixture over the meat, sprinkle on a little chili powder, pop it in the oven, and you’re done! I hope you like this recipe as much as we do 🙂