This is a better, eat-the-whole-pan-yourself version of the classic. The ultimate comfort!
2-3 TBS butter or olive oil
2 sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
4 TBS garlic, minced
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped
1/2 cup celeriac or celery, small dice
1 zucchini, small dice
1 lb ground lamb
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground bison (can also use beef)
2+ TBS 5-spice (can also use curry, garam masala or other) may need to season with more at the end
salt and pepper
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 TBS chili garlic sauce (more or less as desired)
1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
4 oz chevre (goat cheese), divided in half
2 cups stock, can use chicken, beef or veg
2 big sweet potatoes
1 big yukon potato or other white/yellow potato
1/2 bunch green onions, finely sliced
4-8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (the extra 4 oz is if you want melted cheese to garnish)
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
salt and pepper, to season
Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Prick potatoes, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in oven until fork-tender, roughly 50-55 min.
While the potatoes are working heat up a large oven-safe pan, I like to use a Le Creuset braiser, something that's going to be big enough to cook the meat in and then top with the potatoes. If you don't have one of these, use a skillet and then finish in a casserole dish.
Prepare ingredients. Heat oil in pan. Saute onions until translucent, add garlic, cook until fragrant. Stir in fennel, carrot, and celeriac, cook until tender, add zucchini, cook for 3 min. Remove from pan.
Turn to high heat, add ground meat, brown. Add the spice, lemon zest, chili garlic, generously salt and pepper. Stir to break up the chunks and disperse the seasoning throughout. Once nicely browned, deglaze with the stock and add back in the veggies, with 2 oz of the goat cheese. Combine together, turn the heat to low and stir in cilantro.
When the potatoes are done, remove the skins, mash together with the yogurt, 4 oz of cheddar, green onions, reserved (2 oz) goat cheese, and taste to season with salt/pepper. Once thoroughly mashed spread on top of the spiced meat mixture. For the ultimate gooey comfort sprinkle the extra 4 oz cheese on top. Place back in the oven, cook until golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. A warning, this will be very hot, so you may want to let it stand for a few minutes before serving. A great crowd pleaser, if you want to share, and the best meal after skiing, ice skating, or sledding - it'll warm you right back up!
Note: This is a great casserole dish to keep in the freezer for those nights that you don't feel like cooking. I recommend making a double batch if you want extra though.