Shepherd’s Pie | Gluten free & Dairy Free & Paleo
Shepherds Pie is a whole lot of goodness, with delicious rich lamb mince in a lovely thick tomato and stock gravy. This recipe is traditionally topped with mashed potato which can make the meal quite heavy. But we’ve solved that problem by using a light and fluffy cauliflower and celeriac mash. It still has all the mushy creaminess you’d expect for a good Shepherd’s Pie without the heavy stodge and extra carb loading!
Lamb mince for the Shepherds Pie
As with all recipes, the quality of your ingredients will make or break the final meal. The taste and quality of the lamb is no exception. Ideally, go to your butcher and ask him to mince some fresh lamb for you with about 30% fat. Any less and the mince will be dry. Muchmore and you’ll end up with a lot of rendered fat in the pan, which can technically be drained off, but that just seems wasteful. If your butcher can’t mince it for you, look for pre-minced lamb that is still quite red in colour. If it looks too pink then that means there’s too much fat. You want the rich redness to be the main colour with only flecks of white. And avoid grey meat at all cost, that just means it’s getting old and won’t impart a good taste!
Mash for the Shepherds Pie topping
So here’s the thing, if you really want potato mash on your pie, by all means, go for it. You could also use sweet potato mash, either yellow for a sweeter softer topping, or Hawaiin purple, which will yield a drier mash similar to potato. If you’re going with sweet potato or cauliflower mash, it’s important to steam and not boil the vegetable. These are very soft vegetables when cooked, and boiling them will make them super mushy and won’t hold well as a topping. Steam them until quite tender, but not falling apart, and then blitz it in a food processor with your butter/oil and some seasoning to taste.
So, as I’ve mentioned before, cauliflower does not brown in the oven, not without baking it for hours. But really, does it matter? The baking is just to dry it out a little and warm all the ingredients together to create a harmonious blend of all the ingredients. If you’re super keen for a dried top, you can grill it until you’re happy with the colour, but don’t think you’re going to get the same result as mashed potato. Cauliflower behaves quite differently to potato. But we love it in our house. It makes the meal light and is really good.
Love lamb? So do we! Here are some more lamb recipes for you.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 kg minced lamb
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 250 ml (1 cup) vegetable or beef stock
- 60 ml (¼ cup) gluten free Worcestershire sauce
- 120 gm (1 cup) frozen peas, defrosted
- 1 cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 cauliflower head
- 1 large Celeriac bulb
- 50 gm vegan butter (or olive oil)
1) Preheat oven to 200C. 2) Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. 3) Add onion, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and cook until vegetables are soft and start to colour (7-10 minutes). 4) Season to taste, add mince and stir, breaking up mince with back of spoon until brown (5-7 minutes). 5) Add tomato paste and stir to combine. 6) Add stock and Worcestershire sauce, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is thick (20-25 minutes). 7) Stir through peas and parsley and season to taste. 8) Meanwhile, for creamy mash, steam cauliflower until tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and return to pan. Add vegan butter and mash until smooth. Season to taste. 9) Spread mince mixture in a large oven dish. Top with cauliflower puree and bake until edgers are bubbling (15-20 minutes). 10) Serve with a side salad. We recommend tabbouleh to compliment the lamb!
If your lamb is very fatty, you might like to drain the oil from the lamb after it’s finished cooking, before adding to the baking tray.