Sunday, December 22, 2013

Paleo Layered Shepherd's Pie

If it ain't broke, don't fix it… right?? When I planned a family favorite recipe for dinner tonight I did so because I wanted something straight-forward that I could make on autopilot. Then as I started to chop and cook, the desire to experiment got the best of me.

If you want a tried and true shepherd's pie recipe, check my original recipe out. It can be baked in muffin cups or a baking dish with equally tasty results. Tonight I used a dish because I decided to make it in layers. I love the fluffy cauliflower pie, but often find that once you get to eating the topping runs out before the meat filling. This time I did I alternated layers so that every bit would have both meat and  "potato."

I also went a little crazy and non-paleo and stirred a little raw cheddar into the cauliflower. My kids in particular said this was their favorite shepherd's pie ever (no surprise, as they are obsessed with cheese!). I can promise it's just as yummy without the cheese, but if you do any dairy I highly recommend it.

Finally, I also had a can of coconut cream open in my fridge and put it to use. Instead of a splash of coconut milk I used 1 tbs. of the coconut cream, which yielded crazy creamy results when combined with the butter. I didn't even need to add any other liquid.

Would love to hear if you try this version how you feel it compares to the original!

Paleo Layered Shepherd's Pie

meat layer:
1 large diced onion
1 lb. bacon, cut into 1-2 inch slices
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 lb. ground beef or turkey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 cup 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%. Set aside.

cauliflower layer: 
one large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tbs. coconut cream
2 tbs. butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt, pepper & fresh ground nutmeg, to taste
1/4 cup shredded raw cheddar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375.

Boil cauliflower in a large pot until tender; drain and return to pot. Add butter and coconut cream, 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. Stir in cheese, if using, until melted.

To assemble shepherd's pie, spread 1/2 of meat mixture over the bottom of a greased 9x13 baking dish. Spread 1/2 of cauliflower over the top, then repeat the layers with the remaining meat and cauliflower.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. If using cheese, you can sprinkle a little on top, turn the oven to broil and cook for a couple minutes more to get a crispy top layer.

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