Shepherd's Pie

A rich and hearty dish that will feed a crowd!

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Man, do I love Shepherd's Pie. I really am a lover of all casseroles and one-dish meals but this particular dish shines bright for me. It's hearty and satisfying, comforting and rich in beefy, tomato flavor. Topped with creamy, buttery sweet potatoes. Swoon.

Shepherd's Pie is naturally pretty Paleo friendly, though some folks might not be a fan of the traditional mashed potato topping.

This dish uses Japanese sweet potatoes, which are more similar to white potatoes than typical orange yams, though you could use those instead if you prefer. For a lower carb, keto friendly option, sub mashed cauliflower for the sweet potato topping and you're good to go. 

This Irish inspired dish would make a perfect compliment to your dinner table this St. Patrick's Day weekend. If you're not feeling the corned beef and cabbage, that is! 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds grassfed ground beef
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (I used Japanese sweet potatoes but you can use whatever kind you like)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons coconut aminos
  • 1/4 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk (almond or cashew will work too, just make sure it's plain and unsweetened. Or you can use grassfed, full fat heavy cream if you tolerate dairy)
  • 4 tablespoons grassfed butter or ghee, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Peel and cube the potatoes. Then add them to a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil until they're fork tender. Drain them and set aside. 
  3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrots and dice the onion. 
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee to a dutch oven* over medium heat. Add the onion and sautee' until translucent. 
    1. *If you don't have a dutch oven, you can cook the meat in a large rimmed pan and then transfer to a casserole baking dish once finished, before adding the mashed potato layer and baking. 
  5. Add the ground beef to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and crumble with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until browned then drain any excess grease.
  6. Add the carrots, peas, garlic, oregano and bay leaf and stir until the garlic is fragrant (about 30 seconds). 
  7. Add the tomato paste, broth and coconut aminos and stir until everything is well combined. 
  8. In a small bowl, combine the sweet potatoes with 1/4 coconut milk, 2 tablespoons butter or ghee and a pinch of salt. Use a hand beater to mix until smooth (if you don't have a hand beater you could smash them and mix them really well by hand). 
  9.  Scoop the potatoes into several spots across the top of the meat layer, then carefully spread into an even layer, covering the top of the dish. 
  10. Cover and bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Then remove the lid and bake uncovered for a final 10 minutes until bubbly and the top is lightly browned. 
  11. Garnish with chives and serve.