Saturday, November 16, 2013

Beef Shepard's Pie with Cauliflower Topping (Paleo)

Have you ever had traditional Shepard's Pie? It's so warm, filling and comforting on a cool night. When I began my Paleo lifestyle, I found a great recipe from Melissa Joulwan's Well Fed cookbook for Shepard's Pie that called for Lamb and about 20 ingredients. I made it with beef, because I didn't have any lamb on hand, and it was absolutely awesome! So warm and comforting.

So it's been getting cooler here in Texas and last weekend was particularly cold. I wanted to make some Shepard's Pie for my weekend cook-up, and had the brilliant idea of trying to make it 5 ingredients. This was going to be a tall task indeed, but I think I pulled it off pretty brilliantly!

This makes a huge meal, so you can certainly cut it in half! It made us 6-8 servings, half of which we freezed. After they were defrosted and reheated they still tasted amazing, so by all means, make this recipe as is and save half in the freezer!

In lieu of using coconut milk and other ingredients to make the cauliflower topping, I just used some of the fat that cooked off the beef as liquid to mash the cauliflower. It worked great! Just try to make sure you use grassfed meat so the cooked off oil is healthier.

1) 2 pounds of ground meat (I used beef, but lamb is more traditional if you like it)
2) 2 pounds of carrots, sliced
3) 3 onions, diced
4) 1-2 large heads of cauliflower or bags of cauliflower florets (I used two because I wanted a lot of topping!)
5) 2 tablespoons of spices of your choice (I used 2T of chili powder, but you could use cumin, Italian seasonings, garlic and onion powder, etc. Just something to give the dish some taste. I like chili powder!)

1) Brown your ground meat in the largest skillet you have, over medium-high heat until cooked.
2) Drain at least 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the oil into a cup to use for your mashed cauliflower. Leave the rest of the oil in the pan to help cook the vegetables.
3) Once you've drained the oil, add in your onions and carrots. Cook these for 25-30 minutes over medium-high heat until they are soft and cooked thoroughly.
4) While the carrots and onions are cooking with the meat, start on your cauliflower. Chop up your cauliflower heads to just leave the florets, then add to a large bowl. If using a bag, just add the bag's contents to a large bowl. Add about a tablespoon of water and microwave on high for 6-10 minutes, until soft.
5) Add the cooked cauliflower to your food processor. I used two bags of florets, so I had to make two batches in my food processor.
6) For each batch of cauliflower, do the following: add in half of your cauliflower for the batch to the food processor. Then add in your oil (if you divided this into two batches, only add half your oil). Puree until smooth, then add in the other half of your cauliflower and puree. I had to run my processor for about 5 minutes to get it really smooth.
7) Add the pureed cauliflower to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper until you like how it tastes. I probably used a teaspoon of each to start with, but start small and add on.


8) Once your onions and carrots are cooked, add in your spices to the dish. Stir to incorporate, and then add your mixture to a large casserole dish or 9x13 pan.
9) Spread your mashed cauliflower on top of the meat mixture. Spread it into an even layer.
10) Cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes, until the top is brown and bubbly.

11) Once cooked, let rest for 10 minutes before you serve it up, because it's very hot!

Check out those layers!

Portioned and ready for the fridge and freezer!


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