At first glance, a slice of this pie appears to offer something sweet: chocolate filling topped with strawberry whipped cream. But unsuspecting diners are in for a surprise.... It's really a shepherd's pie in disguise! Cocoa, molasses, and barbecue sauce give the meat its chocolaty color, while whipped potatoes infused with beet juice complete the deception. The best part of the prank is that you're also making dinner!
Heat the oven to 350º. In a small saucepan, combine the barbecue sauce, milk, molasses, cocoa, and chili powder. Set the pan over medium heat and whisk the mixture until it is lukewarm and the cocoa is completely dissolved. Set it aside to cool.
Sauté the onions in the tablespoon of canola oil until they are transparent, about 7 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, celery salt, pepper, and bread crumbs. Then add the beef, egg, sauce mixture, and onion. Thoroughly mix the ingredients using your hands or a wooden spoon.
Remove the pie shell from the freezer. (We placed ours in a Pyrex dish to help ensure that the pie would bake evenly.) Transfer the meat to the shell, spreading it evenly with a spoon. Bake it until the meat is cooked through, about 60 minutes.
While the pie is baking, prepare the mashed potato topping. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough water to completely submerge them. Salt the water lightly, cover the pot, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook the potatoes at a low boil until they are tender, about 12 minutes.
While the potatoes cook, puree the beets and 1/4 cup warm milk in a blender until only small bits of beet are left in the mixture. Set aside.
Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and pureed beets and, using an electric mixer, whip the mixture until it's smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if needed and salt to taste.
Spread the whipped potatoes over the top of the cooked meat pie with a spatula, as you would whipped cream, mounding it slightly in the center. Slice and serve the pie while the potatoes are still hot. Makes 8 servings.
Filling per serving:
Protein 19.8g (40% DV)
Carbohydrates 35.5g (12% DV)
Total Fat 14.7g (23% DV)
Saturated Fat 7.5g (38% DV)
Cholesterol 90mg (30% DV)
Sodium 524mg (22% DV)
Potassium (24% DV)
Vitamin C (40% DV)
Calcium (8% DV)
Iron (20% DV)
Fiber (10% DV)
Percent daily values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.