When my husband, Andy, and I were dating, one of our favorite places to go was this British pub in Houston called Queen Vic’s. They had great IPAs (we really miss IPAs) and amazing British/Indian comfort foods. It was the perfect Sunday lunch before our lazy Sunday Netflix marathons. One of his favorite dishes there was the shepherd’s pie, and he has been on me to come up with a good recipe. I’ve tried several versions of this, and I think I finally got it just right!
Lamb and garam masala give it a warm, Indian-inspired spice, while the cauli-parsnip mash adds a bit of sweetness that is just right. It’s baked in the oven and then broiled until the topping is golden and a bit crispy, so good! Andy even said he liked the cauli-parsnip mash better than the traditional potato topping. So there you go, straight from a true potato-lover. This is the perfect hearty meal for a chilly day, and perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, along with a dark beer (or IPA), of course!
The Very Best Shepherd's Pie
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- 1/2 purple onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2/3 pound ground lamb (You can definitely use a pound of each, but you might need a larger pie or casserole dish!)
- 2/3 pound ground beef
- 1 1/2 teaspoons himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup english peas
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 1 cup water
- 8 cups beef or chicken broth
- 1 head of cauliflower, diced into florets
- 4 medium parsnips, diced to be about the size of the cauliflower florets
- 1 heaping tablesoon paleo mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons himalayan salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425F or 220C.
In a stockpot, add chopped cauliflower, parsnips, and broth to cover the vegetables (around 8 cups). Bring to a boil and boil until vegetables are soft, approximately 30 minutes.
While the cauliflower and parsnips are boiling, start the meat mixture. In a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery, and saute until softened, approximately 10 minutes.
Once the onions, carrots and celery are softened, add the ground lamb and beef to the pan, add salt, and continue to cook and break up meat until it is browned.
Turn the burner down to medium low, add the peas, tomato paste, garam masala, and cinnamon, and stir to combine.
Sprinkle tapioca starch over meat mixture, and stir to combine. Add water, stir, and allow to simmer until sauce is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
While the meat simmers, remove cauliflower and parsnips from stockpot and strain. Add strained cauliflower and parsnips back into the stockpot with burner off. Add mayonnaise and salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender or high speed blender to blend until smooth, but not completely pureed (you don’t want chunks of cauliflower or parsnip, but you also don’t want it soupy).
Pour meat mixture into a large pie plate or casserole dish. Add cauliflower and parsnip mixture on top, smooth out evenly.
Bake in the oven on 425 for 30 minutes, then broil for 10-15 minutes (you will want to watch this closely so it doesn’t burn) until golden brown on top. Let cool and enjoy!
Macros: Calories 385, Fat 20g, Carbs 22g, Protein 30g