Being of Irish/Scottish descent, the adjustment away from potatoes was a tough one! I used to make regular Shepards Pie every couple of weeks because it was easy and the kids loved it. When we first got rid of grains, potatoes, and sugars, I thought this was a recipe I would have to forget, until a pregnancy induced craving prompted me to find a healthy alternative. I thought about using sweet potatoes, but then it dawned on me- Cauliflower! I’d used this in place of mashed potatoes and rice before, so why not in this recipe? It was also a great way to sneak an extra vegetable in for the kids.
For those not familiar with it, Shepherd/Cottage Pie is a meat and potato (or Cauliflower) dish. From my understanding, Shepherd’s pie is made with Lamb and Cottage Pie is made with beef or other meat. I’ve always used the terms interchangeably. This is an easy recipe to prepare ahead and heat when you are ready to eat, and the leftovers taste better than the first night (unlike the potato version.. I’ve never liked the texture of reheated potatoes).
Shepherds Pie Recipe
Yield 6 +
Shepherds pie with a cauliflower topping instead of the traditional potato topping to sneak in some extra vegetables.
- 2 (or more) pounds of ground beef, turkey or other meat
- 2-3 heads of cauliflower or 3-4 bags of frozen cauliflower
- 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies (no corn! It's not a veggie!)
- 1-2 onions
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon each of basil, garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and a little cayenne
- 3-4 Tablespoons of butter
- 4 ounces of cream cheese (optional)
- Cheese to top (optional)
- Brown meat in large skillet and season to taste when cooked. Set aside.
- Saute diced onion in skillet until somewhat soft. Set aside with meat.
- Pour mixed veggies in the skillet to heat on low heat and in the meantime...
- In large pot, boil several cups of water. Add cauliflower, cover, and cook until soft enough to mash.
- Remove the pot from the heat, pour off the water, and add butter and cream cheese to the pot.
- Add spices and mash. (I use a hand blender to make it really smooth).
- Mixed veggies should be cooked by now.
- Mix the meat, onions mixed veggies, raw egg and any additional seasonings and put in bottom of 9x13 baking dish.
- Spread mashed cauliflower mixture over it until smooth.
- Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes.
- Add cheese and bake 5 additional minutes (optional).
- Serve warm (or reheat later).
Now I just have to figure out a recipe for a good stout homebrew and I’ll be one happy Irish lass!
Ever made shepherds pie? How did it go?