Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Paleo Shepherd's Pie

I grew up eating the Canadian version of Shepherd's Pie which is a layer of ground beef cooked with onions, a layer of corn, and finally topped with a layer of mashed potatoes dotted with butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Each layer is already cooked and layered in a cast iron skillet and then the top gets browned under the broiler for a few minutes.  This Paleo version has no corn and no mashed white potatoes, but it does have a layer of sauteed vegetables covered with a gravy and a mashed root vegetable mixture for the top.  This dish turned out to be quite tasty and a good substitute for a comfort food.

Paleo Shepherd's Pie
Makes 6-8 servings

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
3 celery stalks, small dice
4 carrots, small dice
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced
4 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (remove ends)
3 turnips, peeled, ends cut off and cut into cubes
5-6 parsnips, peeled and cut into thirds (remove ends)
Salt to taste

Fill an 8-quart pan with water to boil turnips, parsnips and one carrot.  Turn the heat to medium-high.  Add the turnips, parsnips and carrot and boil for 30 to 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put a large skillet on medium-low heat.  Add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil to pan.  Put the small diced onion, celery and carrot into the pan and cook till onions are translucent, which takes about 7 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Using the same pan, turn the heat to medium and add the ground been, 2 teaspoons of sea salt and 1 teaspoon ground pepper.  Stir to thoroughly distribute the salt and pepper and cook until the meat is cooked through.  Once the meat is completely cooked, drain the meat from the fat and transfer the meat to a bowl.  Drain the remaining fat and discard.

Return the vegetable mixture back to the same pan (it's totally okay if it has some fat coating from the beef) over medium-low heat.  Add the  minced garlic, chicken broth, thyme, and rosemary to the vegetable mixture.  Allow the liquid to heat up for a minute or two.  Add 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.  Stir to mix.  Add the arrowroot powder, one tablespoon at a time and mixing after each tablespoon , in order to thoroughly dissolve.  This should thicken the liquid to more gravy form, but not completely thick.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper.  Remove pan from heat.

Using a casserole dish (or a 9x13 pan), pour all the cooked ground beef inside by evenly spreading it out.  Next, evenly spread the veggie/gravy mixture.

The turnips, parsnips, and carrots should be thoroughly soft.  Each should be easily pierced with a fork.  Drain the water and add 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons water.  Puree the mixture in a food processor to process until smooth (you might need a little more water).  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the mixture over the top of the veggie mixture and smooth it out making sure to cover all the veggies.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve hot.

From JoGoGym

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