Comfort food! There’s something to be said for a nourishing classic dish, especially with a primal living flair.
I love to power pack a good kid friendly casserole style recipe with lots of veggies and this one is no exception.
Traditional Shepherd’s Pie is topped with mashed potatoes, and while our family loves potatoes we try to seek out less starchy options and double up on our fibrous veggies when we can. This primal shepherd’s pie recipe takes advantage of cauliflower’s real food versatility to provide the creamy mashed texture that distinguishes this dish, and packs it with oodles of nutrition at the same time.
Mashed cauliflower with butter, or ghee, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs may just surprise you as a substitute for the white potato. It fits magically into a primal lifestyle and this cruciferous vegetable is praised for its phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory properties, and ability to help protect against heart disease, cancer and obesity.
It’s not only about the topping. The classic combination of onion, carrot, celery and peas, along with the addition of zucchini, ground beef, and bacon underneath, brings this dish the comfort and flavor that’s hard for anyone to snub their nose up at (even the kiddos)!
Whether you are cooking for your family or a crowd, this primal shepherd’s pie is sure to please. Try pairing it with sides like Oregano Salad with Citrus Herb Dressing or Kohlrabi Carrot Roast for a well balanced meal.Print
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb. bacon, chopped
- 3 large carrots, diced (~ 2 cups)
- 4 celery ribs, diced (~ 2 cups)
- 2 medium zucchini, diced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 1/2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 heads cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup grass-fed butter, or ghee
- Sea salt to taste
- Fresh parsley, chopped (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Melt coconut oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan.
- Add onion and cook until softened (about 3 minutes). Add bacon, tossing occasionally until starting to crisp. Stir in carrots and celery. Once they begin to soften add zucchini.
- After a few minutes, add tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika, and thyme and stir to combine.
- Crumble in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.
- Pour in broth, lower heat and allow to simmer until broth reduces (~5 minutes).
- While meat and veggie mix simmers, steam cauliflower florets. Once tender, remove from heat and place in a medium pot or bowl. Add butter and puree. You may use an immersion blender, a food processor, or a potato masher. Salt to taste.
- Add meat and veggie mix to a 15″ x 10″ baking dish. Top with cauliflower mash and evenly spread with a spatula.
- Place in the oven for about 25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.
To make in a 9″ x 13″ dish, reduce ingredients by about 1/4 to 1/3.
I like to place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack below the baking dish in case some bubbles over while cooking.
I love to serve this recipe with Cheddar Garlic grain-free muffins (I’ll share soon).