Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

On top of the extremely cold weather we’ve been having, we also received about 6 inches of snow today!  Winter has definetly arrived.  My commute home was pretty stressful because of the weather, so I decided to unwind with the season premiere of Downton Abbey and some appropriate ‘comfort food’.  Gotta love a good casserole in the winter.

This meal was a great example of using a ‘regular’ recipe and making it Paleo after a few tweaks.  Many dishes that you have enjoyed can still be eaten on a paleo diet, you just need to get creative with modifications!  The original recipe I used for inspiration is from Alton Brown’s Good Eats. (Click here to read the recipe.)

Here are the modifications I made:

  • I used grassfed ground beef instead of lamb. Lamb would be fine, but I had beef on hand. I also used only 1 lb.
  • I doubled the carrots.
  • I used arrowroot instead of flour. It’s a starch made from a root and you can find it in the baking/spice isle. It works well as a thickener for any sauce and is gluten free and paleo.
  • I did not use corn (as it’s a grain and not paleo). Instead, I doubled the peas.
  • No potatoes! Instead, I used my recipe for Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes. I added rosemary into the mash to help tie the dish together. I made them the day before, knowing I would use them throughout the week, so the recipe came together very quickly.

Below is the full recipe, with all of my modifications.  If you prep the mash ahead of time, it will be done in a snap!

Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

For Mash Topping:

3-4 cups Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes, (approx 3/4-1 whole large head of cauliflower worth) processed to a very smooth consistency (may need additional cream), seasoned generously with salt, pepper and rosemary.

For Meat Filling:

2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb or grassed ground beef
sea salt fresh and ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons arrowroot
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (can use more if desired)
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To prepare the filling: place the oil into a large saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground meat, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle the meat mixture with the arrowroot and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer slowly 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
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Add the peas to the meat mixture. Spread meat mixture evenly into the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the mashed cauliflower and smooth with a rubber spatula to create an even layer.

Place on a sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until edges are bubbly and the mash begins to brown.

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I’m so excited about my leftovers for lunch tomorrow!!

Will you try this recipe?  Need other ideas for Paleo comfort food?  What is your favorite dish that you are trying to ‘paleo-fy’?  Let me know!

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