Shepherd’s pie is comfort food at its finest. With its savory mixture of sautéed veggies, browned meat, and spices topped with a creamy layer of mashed veggies, every bite is a warm and soothing experience. This is especially great for those chilly days in December, when a warm bowl of something delicious is just what you need.
A wonderful feature about this dish is just how easy it is to customize. Both the filling, mashed top, and array of spices and herbs can easily be adapted to any taste preference or dietary need. Our recipe below has a basic filling with a number of different options for the mash on top that will meet candida, paleo, SCD and low FODMAP diet requirements.
Shepherd’s Pie with Mashed Root Veggies
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion, minced (or 1 bunch scallion greens for low FODMAP)
2 zucchini, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced (or 1 rutabaga, peeled and diced for low FODMAP)
2 lbs ground beef (ground turkey, chicken, and lamb are all great alternatives)
1 cup frozen green peas
2-3 Tablespoons fresh thyme and rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
¾ teaspoon chipotle powder
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Candida, Paleo and SCD Mash
2 large cauliflowers
½ cup coconut oil
Salt and pepper
Low FODMAP Mash
3 medium rutabagas, roughly chopped
6 carrots, roughly chopped
2 small celery roots or 1 large celery root, roughly chopped
½ cup coconut oil
Other mash options
2 large butternut squash, halved and seeded
3 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, cut into thirds
For the candida, paleo and SCD version, wash and cut cauliflowers into floret sized pieces, including the stem. Place in large pot with about 1” of water. Steam at medium heat, covered for about 20 minutes until cauliflower is very tender and can be pierced with a fork. Drain the water from the pot. While the cauliflower is still hot, using a potato masher or immersion blender or food processor, mash the cauliflower with coconut oil and salt to taste. The mash should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
For the low FODMAP version, wash and peel rutabagas and celery roots as they have tough skins. Roughly chop the rutabagas, carrots, and celery roots for top mash and place them into large pot, covered with water. Cook covered until tender. Drain into colander. Place back into pot or a large bowl. While the vegetables are still hot, using a potato masher or immersion blender or food processor, mash with coconut oil and salt to taste. The mash should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
For the butternut squash or sweet potato version, bake the butternut squash or sweet potatoes in the oven at 400 degrees until very soft and can easily be pierced with a fork, about 30-40 minutes. To bake, place in a rimmed baking dish in a single layer, and cover the bottom with about an inch of water to prevent burning. Remove and allow to cool. Remove the skins and place into a large bowl. While the vegetables are still hot, using a potato masher or immersion blender or food processor, mash with coconut oil and salt to taste. The mash should have the consistency of mashed potatoes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Meanwhile, mince onions or scallion greens and caramelize in a large sauté pan with coconut oil. Dice vegetables for the filling and add to the onions or scallions. Cover and sauté until soft. Add ground meat and herbs to pan and remove lid. Cook on medium heat until meat is well browned. Mix frequently to avoid the vegetables getting burned. Add balsamic vinegar, peas, salt and spices to taste. Mix well. Place the mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass pan and spread evenly.
Place the mashed veggies on top of the meat mixture and even out the surface so it is smooth. Tuck the mash into the corners so that the filling does not splatter when it gets hot.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until the meat mixture is bubbling and the top of the mash is browned.