Sweet Potatoes + Kabocha + Nagaimo Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie

Something needs to be done about the lack of update in this blog. I was watching a video about “tips for blogging” and thought… dang, I should totally do that tip at 01:36 from Brooklyn Allergy Mom, she said (ever so wisely) –

“My biggest tip is ‘Just do it!’. If you have another job, it doesn’t matter. Wake up at 7 o’clock in the morning and blog from 7 to 8. Then get in the shower and go to work.”

So, I’m going to suck it up and brace this writer’s rut and not make any more excuses. Oh who am I kidding? Let’s call it what it is: PROCRASTINATION.

This post has been brewing in my post bank for about 2 months now.

In early April, when I made this pie, someone had just given me a box of beautiful Spring roots vegetables. There were kabocha (Japanese butternut squash), sweet potatoes, mountain yam, carrots, radish. So many of them, looking fresh and delicious. I totally need to do something about them.

What can I do?

Ever the diligent follower of Dr. Agatston’s advice, I often substitute any bad carbs with good carbs, trying to make my diet as low glycemic index (GI) as possible. I make it my lifelong mission to try and make any recipes out of my kitchen a somewhat healthier version of what it can be.

You see, my mother suffers from diabetes, for a very long time already. Without any intention to belittle any other ailments, having observed my mother and how she copes with diabetes all my life, I feel that being diabetic is like getting the meanest form of punishment, forever. Your diet is heavily scrutinized. As much as you’d like to believe you can have everything (as long as you control the portion), but in actuality there is so much limitations attached to it! My mother is fond of food. She is one of the best cooks I know in real life, yet she often isn’t allowed to eat the food she makes.

For a long while, I have decided that I shall not wait around and cross my fingers, hoping that I don’t inherit the gene. It is often said that diabetes gene skips a generation, but I am terrified to think that it might be just a myth. So I have to start with myself. Anything I can do to avoid the ‘diabetes gene awakening’, I will do it. Where do I start? I start from what I can control: my own food intake.

In the silicon steamer case, ready to be microwave steamed!

In the silicon steamer case, ready to be microwave steamed!

Shut up, Tari.

Write more about the food.

Okay, I decided that I should make a low GI version of Shepherd’s Pie using all of the root vegetables I have in the abovementioned box. Replace all of the potato mash with kabocha, sweet potatoes and mountain yam. If you steam or boil the veggies long enough, it will be so soft, mash… et voila(!) you got your self some mash!

To make long story short, I embarked on making MOP’s version of Shepherd’s Pie. Then I discovered that you can’t call a pie a shepherd’s pie unless you’re using minced lamb. So…. Here’s MOP’s version of Cottage Pie! Should you decide to change the protein from minced beef to minced lamb, then you can call yours, a Shepherd’s Pie.

Without further ado… I present you MyOrangePot’s Cottage Pie!

Sweet Potatoes + Kabocha + Nagaimo Cottage Pie


For the mash:

200 grams nagaimo (mountain yam)

200 grams kabocha (butternut squash)

600 grams sweet potatoes

For the fillings:

2 Tbsp olive oil

250 grams minced lean beef

2 medium onion, diced

3 medium carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

200 ml beef stock

1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 cup green peas

Spices and condiments:

1 tsp coriander seed

1 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp dried thyme (a few sprigs if you have access to fresh tymes)

2 bay leaves


Tools: skillet, silicon steamer case (or regular saucepan to boil the root vegetables), potato ricer, ovenproof dish

Active prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: between 1 to 1.5 hours (depending on your multitasking skill! :))


This is once I add all the vegetables, but before adding the beef stock and condiments

This is once I add all the vegetables, but before adding the beef stock and condiments


  1. Wash kabocha, cut and clean the seedy area. Then peel and wash sweet potatoes and nagaimo. Then cut all the clean vegetables into small wedges. Put all wedges in a silicon steamer basket, put in microwave for 10-15 minutes. Mash with a potato ricer or a food processor if you desire very smooth consistency. Set aside for the next step.
  2. Heat a pan with the olive oil and saute the mince until it turns brown. Add onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the pot and saute for another 5 minutes. Then stir in the stock and the rest of the ingredients listed above. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 200 C. Transfer the minced beef mix to an ovenproof dish. Top with mash. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until bubbling.
  4. Ready to serve!

Serves: 6

Cottage Pie

Tags: ,

Categories: Featured, Mains, Midweek, Off-the-book, Recipes, Spring, Winter

Author:Tari Martosudirjo Keitt


4 Comments on “Sweet Potatoes + Kabocha + Nagaimo Cottage Pie”

  1. June 28, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    mbak tari! just in time.. I was thinking of making a cottage pie for friends coming over tomorrow. However, I want to make a vegetarian version with tofu to substitute the beef. Any suggestion for tofu filling? Because tofu has lots of water in it, I don’t want to make the filling .. mm.. watery.. you know what I mean? Thank you!

    • June 28, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Hello hello! Glad that you can use this. If you want to make it vegetarian (vegan, even), replace all the mince meat with brown lentils and kidney beans. Replace all the beef stock with mushroom stock.

      For smoother mash, I will add about 200 ml soymilk (or any milk, if your friends take dairy). Enjoy!

  2. June 28, 2013 at 6:14 pm #

    Hmm, someone hates kidney beans though.. but thank youuuu!!

    • June 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Then just omit the kidney beans part and use only the brown lentil.
      Another suggestion, if you want to use tofu, make sure you use the ‘momen’ type and strain/let it sit in a colander for about 30 minutes to reduce the liquid factor.

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