Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Crust
Beloved by the British, shepherd’s pie is a rich, protein-filled dish that is traditionally made with a mashed-potato crust. This version of the classic dish uses a roasted cauliflower mash instead of potatoes to reduce the starchiness of the meal.
The nutrient density of this shepherd’s pie is increased by the optional addition of a bit of organ meat. In many traditional indigenous cultures, organ meats were the most highly prized parts of the animal - and it is easy to see why. Compared to muscle meats, organ meats are more densely packed with a variety of nutrients—including the B vitamins, various minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and the all-important fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A and D.
If you haven’t cooked with offal before, this recipe is a great way to start. You’ll find the stronger flavor of organ meat is hidden among the ground lamb and vegetables, making this dish an easy way to “sneak” the nutritional benefits of organ meat into your family’s diet!
The three most common types of organ meats are liver, heart, and kidney, and any of these will do. Ask your local butcher what they have available or, if you need to, order online. No matter which organ you choose, be sure it is from a grassfed animal for maximum quality and nutrient content. If you buy your organ meats from a butcher, you can ask them to grind your purchase for you - or you can cut the meat into pieces and pulse it in the food processor to reach the ground texture needed for this recipe.
Shepherd’s pie is warm comfort food at its nutritional finest. It is the perfect meal to make on a chilly weeknight because it is simple to prepare and incredibly nourishing. One of the best parts of this dish is that you can double the recipe and freeze half for later.
While this recipe calls for ground lamb, you can make a “cottage pie” by using grassfed ground beef instead.
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1½ pounds ground lamb
- ¼ pound ground organ meat (optional)
- ½ cup lard, ghee, or duck fat
- 1 head of cauliflower, sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced medium
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
- ½ cup fresh peas (preferably English)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 quart bone broth
- ¼ cup fresh parmesan, grated
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup cream or crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon parsley, minced, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Melt ½ cup of lard, ghee, or duck fat in a small saucepan. In a large bowl, combine melted fat, cauliflower, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat the cauliflower, then spread it out on a sheet pan. Roast in oven until golden and cooked throughout.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of ghee, then add the onion, carrot, peas, rosemary, and garlic. Cook until caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside. Add remaining ghee to the pan. Turn the heat on high. Once the ghee is hot, add the meat and brown. Combine the meat with the vegetable mixture. Pour into a 1½-quart baking dish and set aside.
Drain all of the fat from the pan. Add the bone broth to the pan over high heat. Let the bone broth simmer until it thickens and the reduction sticks to the back of a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to low and quickly stir in ½ tablespoon of butter, then add half the cream or crème fraiche. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Pour this gravy over the top of the meat and vegetable mixture and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the roasted cauliflower, parmesan, and remaining butter and crème fraiche over low speed. Pulse until it reaches your desired consistency for cauliflower mash.
Spread the cauliflower mash over the top of the meat mixture. Bake at 375° F until golden brown or warm throughout.
Serve with fresh chopped parsley.
Chef Taylor Allen attended San Diego Culinary Institute where she acquired knowledge of traditional French cooking techniques. Taylor is available for personal, in-home ancestral food preparation and real-food kitchen retrofits throughout San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. She specializes in GAPS protocol as well as paleo and gluten- and casein-free meals. Contact her at [email protected] for more information.
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Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Winter 2018 - 2019 | Volume 42, Number 4
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