What’s cooking today: Sweet potato & beef mince bake

Tony Jackman’s savoury mince and sweet potato bake. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This is a variation on a cottage pie, using smooth and creamy sweet potato mash as a topping. These were kara sweet potatoes, the beautiful orange ones, which make for delicious eating and score high points for looks.

The sweetness of the potatoes contrasts with the savoury bite of the beef mince to create a delicious supper. A dash of peach chutney adds a little sweetness to the mince, contrasted with the sour of the red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and heat from the mustard. And don’t be shy with the butter in the potato; it makes all the difference.


3 Tbsp olive oil

500 g lean beef mince

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, grated

½ celery stick, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

80 g tomato purée

½ cup beef stock

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp peach chutney

1 tsp prepared hot English mustard

Salt and black pepper to taste

100 g mature Cheddar cheese, grated, and a sprinkling more for the top

1 kg Kara orange sweet potatoes

3 Tbsp butter

Salt and black pepper for the sweet potatoes


Time the mashed sweet potatoes to be ready just when you need to spoon the mash on top of the mince before going in the oven. Peel and quarter the sweet potatoes. Steam them over rapidly boiling water, covered, until tender. Drain. While still hot, stir in the butter, and season with salt and black pepper.

Meanwhile, sauté the onion, carrot, celery and garlic in olive oil on a low heat, stirring, until softened and beginning to take on colour.

Crumble the mince in using your fingers, then use a wooden spoon to work it so that no clumps form and it is all incorporated into the mince.

Cook, stirring now and then, for 5 minutes.

Add the can of tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, the vinegars, Worcestershire sauce, chutney and mustard, stir well, and cook for 5 more minutes.

Season to taste with salt and black pepper, put a lid on, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked away but the minced beef is still moist. Remove the lid and stir every few minutes so it doesn’t catch at the bottom of the pot.

Stir in the Cheddar until it is melted and distributed.

Grease a deep oven dish and spoon in the mince. 

Top it with the mashed sweet potatoes, edge to edge, and grate some Cheddar over, but not so much that you can’t see the lovely colour of the sweet potatoes. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing. 


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