Comfort Food: Shepherd’s Pie

Posted by piphunt on February 2, 2012 in Adventures of Pip, The Little Chef |

I’m on a comfort food mission. This dish is something that was often in our fridge or freezer growing up. It’s inexpensive, easy to make, freezes well and hits the comfort food spot. What’s not to love? I even have my roommate Amy’s approval, as she ended up eating it for breakfast and lunch this week! She also told me that her family used to make shepherd’s pie with a crust. Weird. It was always crustless in my mama’s kitchen, which made it easy to “paleofy” (although, I technically could leave the potatoes in the recipe and it would be just fine). If you’re looking for a lick-the-bowl, easy to make, lots of leftovers kind of recipe, try this!


Shepherd’s Pie:

Makes 4 servings


What you will need:

Frying pan

baking dish (I used a 9″ round)

medium sized pot and vegetable steamer

food processor or immersion blender



For the filling:

1 lb. grass-fed beef (SLC peeps, check out Lau farms, they deliver once a month to Caputo’s and have discounts for larger orders)

4 carrots, sliced

4 celery stalks, sliced

1/2 onion, diced

4 garlic gloves, diced

1.5 teaspoons cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Fat for cooking, I used the leftover fat from a large ribeye I had marinated in mustard and olive oil. The fat had a distinct mustardy flavor and it MADE the dish. Seriously, it made it so much better than my standard recipe. If you don’t have any pre-marinated tallow/fat lying around, I would suggest adding a tablespoon of mustard to a fat of your choice (ghee, olive oil, coconut oil, tallow) and going from there.


For the topping:

1 head of cauliflower, sliced into smallish pieces

1 can Aroy-D coconut milk, placed in the fridge ahead of time to allow the fat and water to seperate

Cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to taste



Allow the fat and mustard to melt in a pan on a low heat. Add the onions and allow to sweat until they are clear (about 3-5 minutes), then add carrots, garlic, and celery (aka mirepoix). Allow the carrots and celery to cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the ground beef. After the beef has started to brown, add cumin, salt, and pepper. Allow to sit on a low heat while you steam the cauliflower.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.


After the cauliflower is done (about 10 minutes), add cauliflower, the fat from the coconut milk (the solids on top of the water), cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to your food processor and puree. The coconut milk will make the cauliflower mash have a nice, creamy, mashed potato like consistency.


Pour the mirepoix and ground beef into the bottom on your baking dish, then spread the mashed cauliflower over the top. Bake in the oven for at least 10 minutes, but if you want the top a little more brown and your tummy isn’t grumbling, you can definitely leave it in there a little bit longer!


Amy made this again with pork shoulder. I didn’t try it myself, but it smelled delicious. You could also try making it with ground lamb, turkey, or chicken!


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