Did you know shepherd’s pie (or cottage pie, as the brits/Irish/Aussies call it) has been around since like 1791? At least according to Wikipedia. Which is obviously, correct all the time. Apparently, just about every country/region around the world has its own version, from Argentina, to Lebanon, to South Africa. Who knew? There’s even “Shepherdless pie” for vegetarians. Silly veggies, shepherd’s pie is for CARNIVORES. Sorry not sorry.
I’d never had shepherd’s pie until about a year and a half ago when I tried Melissa Joulwan’s AMAZING recipe. I’m pretty glad I had never tried any of the regular gluten-filled versions before that, because I probably would’ve been REALLY sad that I couldn’t eat it anymore.
Luckily for you and me there are probably close to 100 (or more?) gluten and dairy-free shepherd’s pie recipes. So why am I giving you another one today? Because I JACKED IT UP. In a great way. Layers on layers of taste bud explosions.
Did you ever watch the ESPN highlight reel (appropriately called Jacked Up) where Tom Jackson would count down the top plays of the week where players got tackled so hard their helmets would fly off and crazy things like that? No? Just me? #awkward. Anyway. That’s kind of like what I did to the original shepherd’s pie recipe: put it on its back, made it see stars, and built it up again in a whole new delicious gluten-and-dairy-free way that’s exploding with flavor. It even got the “Woah, this is really good” seal of approval from my Dad. Which has happened maybe…five times in my life? Yeah.
Shepherd’s pie is traditionally made with lamb, heavy mashed potatoes with a ton of butter and cream, flour, and frozen corn and peas. Umm…let’s just say I can eat about half the things on that list. And the other half would destroy my insides for weeks. So how about a new recipe, shall we? This JACKED UP version has creamy cauliflower and parsnips in place of the potatoes, ground turkey in place of the lamb, and I added in a few flavor boosters on top of that: balsamic vinegar, fresh rosemary and sage, and some zucchini. Oh, and did I mention I layered some prosciutto on top?
My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
- 1 small head cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 4 small-medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
- ½c coconut milk
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 6 slices of prosciutto (refrigerate until ready to use)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
- 1 medium zucchini, diced into quarters
- 1 large carrot, diced (about the same size of the zucchini)
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped (or 1 Tbsp minced)
- 1 tsp sea salt + pepper to taste (AIP omit pepper)
- 3 Tbsp fresh chopped: sage & thyme
- 3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Bring a large pot with about 10 cups of water to boil. Add the chopped cauliflower florets and parsnips to the boiling water. (If the water doesn’t cover the veggies, add more.)
- Cook until the veggies are fork-able (about 10-12 minutes), then drain and add to your food processor.
- While the cauliflower is boiling: Bring a large sauté pan to medium-high heat with 1 T coconut oil. Add the chopped onion, zucchini, and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions start to become translucent.
- When the veggies are cooked down, add the meat, garlic, and a pinch of salt to the pan. Use a wooden spoon to turn and brown the mixture every few minutes. Cook for about about 10 minutes, until the meat is not quite cooked all the way through. (It’s going to bake later).
- While your meat is cooking, make the topping: Purée the cauliflower and parsnips in the food processor. Add coconut milk, garlic, onion powder, coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste. You want it to be about the consistency of mashed potatoes.
- After about 10 minutes of cooking down the meat, add the herbs and vinegar, then stir to combine. Allow a little of the liquid to evaporate, then remove the pan from the heat. Remember, you don’t want to cook the meat all the way through, just until it’s browned. Otherwise it’ll be overcooked when you bake it!
- Spread the meat and veggie mixture evenly in a large glass baking dish (around 13x9 inches). Top evenly with the cauliflower puree. Smooth it out on top with a spoon or spatula.
- Place on the middle oven rack and bake for about 10 minutes.
- While it’s baking, take out your prosciutto from the refrigerator.
- When the 10 minutes are up, Take the dish out, lay prosciutto slices all over the topping, and broil for about 5 minutes, until it crisps up on top and the cauliflower begins to lightly brown.
- Allow to sit and cool for 10 minutes before you eat it. I know, it’s hard…
A fair warning: this recipe is a lot of bang for your buck. At a first glance, it has a good number of steps and ingredients. Read it all the way through so you have a game plan before everything gets going. Pro top: chop all your herbs and vegetables before you start!
It’s definitely a weekend recipe – you’ll need some time to prepare it. BUT not only is it delicious, we usually have leftovers. So it’s like you’re cooking for two or three days! And trust me, you won’t get tired of eating them.
Have you ever tried Shepherd’s pie?