Thursday, June 13, 2013

Paleo Shepherd's Pie Muffins


The caveman asks me to make shepherd's pie all the time. And even though I'm always soliciting his requests, I often refuse to fulfill them. I just associate the dish with colder weather, so don't feel as inclined to make it this time of year.

Last night I came up with a compromise. I had the kids, so wanted to make a meal everyone would like. I decided to make mini shepherd's pies, which pleased the shorties and kind of transformed the meal into seemingly lighter fare.

I've shared my recipe before, but will do so again. I use the base recipe from Elana's Pantry, and then came up with my own fluffy garlicky cauliflower topping, which honestly comes out tasting just like potato.

Although the meat mixture is a bit loose, the cauliflower helps the "muffins" hold their shape when you're scooping them out. I used ground turkey last night, but any ground meat would work.


Paleo Shepherd's Pie Muffins

meat: 
1 large onion, diced
1 lb. turkey or pork bacon, cut into 2 inch slices
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 lb. ground meat of choice
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup low-sodium, organic chicken broth

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Add chopped bacon and cook until just getting crisp.

Add carrots and celery, allowing to cook in bacon fat for 10 more minutes. Add ground meat to skillet and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is just no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

Add chicken broth and allow mixture to cook until the broth has reduced by 60%. Scoop meat mixture into greased muffin cups.

topping: 
one large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
splash of coconut or almond milk, as needed
2 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt, pepper & fresh ground nutmeg, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Boil cauliflower in a large pot until tender; drain and return to pot. Add butter and a splash of milk, then puree mixture with a stick blender. If you don't have a stick, remove mixture to a blender or food processor and run until smooth. Season to taste with garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Spread cauliflower mixture over meat in muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes.

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