By Sarah Shotwell
Cold winter nights call for comfort food in front of the fire and a glass of red wine. This recipe puts a modern, hearty spin on a cloudy weather classic. A slice of shepherd’s pie is the perfect meal to eat out of a single bowl. Balance it on your knee while curled up on the sofa!




Sweet Potato Topping

Two large yellow sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 stick of butter, room temperature

3 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded

Salt and Pepper


1/2 pound of bacon, chopped

1 1/2 pounds grass fed ground beef

1/2 small white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

sprinkle of ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons of flour

1/3 cup light red wine, such as Pinot Noir

1/3 cup beef stock

2/3 cup steamed, shredded kale

2/3 cup fresh or frozen corn (thawed)

sea salt

fresh cracked pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. Bring potato pieces to boil in a pot filled with water. Cook for fifteen minutes, or until tender. Drain. Mash with a potato masher, adding butter. Continue mashing until fluffy, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Add bacon pieces to a cast iron pan and sizzle until just barely crisp. Set aside. Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from pan and add beef. Sauté beef until browned.
  4. Add chopped onions and garlic. Sauté for two minutes, until tender.
  5. Add nutmeg, thyme, and tomato paste. Stir. 
  6. Sprinkle flour over meat filling and stir to combine. Add red wine and stock, and simmer until the mixture thickens. 
  7. Stir in corn and shredded kale, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put it all together:

Add the filling to 9”x13” baking dish. Smooth the mashed sweet potatoes evenly over the filling and top with shredded cheddar. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and hot. For a brown, lightly crisp top, place under the broiler for a few minutes. Pair with the remaining red wine in the bottle!

*Tip for those with allergies: to make this recipe gluten-free, replace the flour with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

Check out the rest of our blog for more seasonal recipes and food and wine pairings!