What do you think of when you think of comfort food? Spaghetti and meatballs. Gooey casseroles. Cheesy Lasagna. Biscuits and gravy. Chocolate cake. Shepherd's pie is one of those foods, for me. My mom had her small repertoire of meals she would make us on a regular basis, and this was one of them. Funny enough- I'm not a huge potato fan. But when you combine a layer of creamy mash on top of savory meat and veggies, it just has that cozy, on-a-fall-friday kind of feel to it, right? I found out I had a sensitivity to potatoes a few years back, and ever since I've been swapping out the potatoes for steamed cauliflower- and I actually like it even better. It's a great way to get an extra boost of nutrients (most of the nutrient value of a potato is in the peel, which you typically discard for mash) and it's just as flavorful. The creamy mashed cauliflower tops some simple seasoned grass-fed ground beef with veggies for an easy one-pot meal that is SO simple to prep ahead (veggies, meat, chopped and steamed cauli) for a simple Fall dinner. The ingredients are also inexpensive and it makes a TON-- budget win!
Cauliflower Crust Shepherd's Pie
Meat layer: 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil 1 pound grass-fed ground beef, turkey or lamb 1 yellow onion, diced 3 cloves garlic 2 stalks celery, diced 2 large carrots, diced 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or sage 1/2 tsp oregano pinch paprika 1/2 tbsp worcestershire sauce sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Mashed cauliflower layer: 1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets and steamed until soft 2 cloves garlic, steamed with cauliflower 1 tbsp coconut oil or ghee 2-4 tbsp coconut milk or heavy cream
pinch sea salt and black pepper
optional: top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese before broiling.
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Heat oil over medium heat. Brown beef until no longer pink. Remove and set aside.
2. Add onions to beef cooking pan, and sautee until translucent. Add garlic and stir. Add carrots and celery, and cook until tender.
3. Add beef to pan. Stir in seasonings and worcestershire sauce. Cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste. Spread beef mix on the bottom of an 8-or-9” casserole dish.
4. Add steamed cauliflower and garlic to blender (or mash by hand) with 2 tbsp milk/cream, and coconut oil. Puree or mash to desired consistency, adding more liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Spread on top of beef mixture and top with shaved parmesan (if using). Bake in oven, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. If desired, broil for 2-4 minutes to brown top. Serve hot.
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