Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes Terry Pomerantz

The Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potato recipe that Terry Pomerantz suggests is an excellent “comfort food” recipe that you could even make for a family gathering.

The origins of Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie, commonly referred to as “Pâté Chinois” in French (which literally translates to “Chinese pie”) was not brought to Canada by Chinese workers who came to work on the First Transcontinental Railroad, as people might believe. The recipe for Pâté Chinois came from the little town of China, Maine, where several Quebecer immigrants were working.

These workers returned to Quebec, bringing with them this recipe from Maine, which probably was their own version of the British Shepherd’s Pie recipe. Quebecer homemakers of the times added corn, and by doing so created the Shepherd’s Pie recipe we know today as “Pâté Chinois”, which really refers to the town where it originated from, in China, Maine. 

Pork filet mignon with red wine sauce served on an old wooden table.

Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes: Ingredients

To make this Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes, Terry Pomerantz prefers “using farmed venison, which is leaner than minced beef. Venison balances the sweet taste from the sweet potatoes. I also like to have two layers of potatoes, one of sweet potatoes and the other made with yellow potatoes”.

For the potatoes

  • 1 lb of sweet potatoes
  • 1 lb of yellow potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup of butter
  • Salt and pepper


  • 1 ½ lbs of minced bison meat (or minced beef)
  • 2 tbsp. of butter
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup of beef broth
  • 1 can (398 ml) of creamed corn
  • 341 ml of corn kernels
  • Paprika and dry parsley, to taste

Preparing the Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes

Preparing the potatoes

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 o F
  2. Peal the sweet potatoes and yellow potatoes
  3. In a 1st pot, cook sweet potatoes and a clove of garlic in boiling water
  4. In a 2nd pot, cook yellow potatoes and a clove of garlic in boiling water
  5. In two separate bowls, mash sweet potatoes and yellow potatoes separately, and divide milk and butter evenly between the two.

Preparing the filling

  1. In a saucepan, melt 2 tbsp. of butter
  2. Add the minced onion and cook until tender
  3. Add minced bison or beef
  4. Stir and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. In a rectangular cooking dish pour in the minced bison or minced beef
  7. With a spatula, even out the meat and onion mixture
  8. Pour the corn kernels on top
  9. Lay one layer of yellow potatoes and even out with spatula
  10. Pour the creamed corn and even out with spatula
  11. Place a layer of mashed sweet potatoes and even out with spatula
  12. Sprinkle paprika and dry parsley.

Shepherd’s Pie: Cooking time:

  • Cook for 25 minutes.
  • Then switch to broil and brown the sweet potatoes for a few minutes.
Three glasses of Quebec wine.

Wine pairing suggestions, for Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes

Terry Pomerantz suggests pairing your Shepherd’s Pie with sweet potatoes with a dry red wine like a Senorio Otazu Pago, a blend of Cabernet-sauvignon (58 %) and Merlot (42 %).

“Enjoy!”, concludes Terry

Terry Pomerantz, passionate about good food, shares with you his gastronomic favorites, tips and recipes, turning every meal into a memorable experience. Explore his culinary universe and discover the delights he suggests to tantalize your taste buds.