Hailing from England as I do, there are certain comfort foods my husband and I grew up with, bangers and mash, fish and chips, corned beef hash and, of course, the pie range. The pies in question being shepherd’s pie, cottage pie, fisherman’s pie, and I think there are Dad’s everywhere as well who would include steak and kidney pie, steak and ale, beef and veg pie and let’s not forget the Christmas time favourite of… the pork pie.
In my desire to recreate some, at least the ones I liked anyway, of these comfort foods in a more tummy-friendly fashion, I have, over time, experimented in various ways. This particular home favourite wasn’t so much experimentation as instant success! – Blowing my own trumpet here! Toot, toot! I made it once, and we loved it so much we haven’t changed a thing since the first time.
Only just recently did I add a bit of cheese to the hubby’s keto side. He declared it was delicious, but a bit of cheese makes everything delicious; still, there was no need to rub it in to those lactose-intolerant people at the table!
It’s a paleo recipe and low carb enough to be keto as well. We have it half-and-half; I have the paleo cheeseless side, and Carl has the keto, cheesy, side.
This recipe in its entirety will happily serve four if you add a side dish of some sort. Often my husband and I have the whole thing between the two of us without anything extra. The choice is yours:)
Comforting Shepherd’s Pie
For the Mince
- 500 g lamb mince (1lb)
- 100 g courgette/zucchini (3.5oz)
- 50 g broccoli florets (1.7oz)
- 115 g fennel (1/2 medium fennel)
- 125 mls chicken stock (1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tbsp duck fat
- 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
For the Topping
- 500 g cauliflower florets (1lb)
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 60 ml coconut cream (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Finely chop the fennel, the broccoli, the courgette and the cauliflower.
- Pre-heat a fan-assisted oven to 200 deg C (400 deg F).
- Put a saucepan of water on to boil.
- Add the broccoli florets and cook for about 10 mins.
- Meanwhile, in a frying pan over a medium-high heat, melt the duck fat.
- Add the fennel to the frying pan and fry till soft, about 5-10 mins.
- Add the ground lamb to the frying pan and fry until browned.
- When the broccoli is soft, use a slotted spoon and remove the broccoli florets. Keep the boiled water on the hob and immediately add the cauliflower to boil for about 15 mins.
- Add the broccoli to the frying pan with the fennel and mince along with the courgette. Add the coconut flour and stir in.
- Add all the remaining ingredients for the meat, the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper, white vinegar, garlic cloves, tomato puree and chicken stock and stir in.
- Add the meat to a 23cm x 23cm (9inch by 9inch) casserole dish and smooth into one even layer.
- When the cauliflower is soft. Pour out the water and add the cauliflower back into the saucepan onto the heat stirring often. this will help to evaporate any excess water, but be careful the cauliflower does not burn. Remove from the heat after a minute or sooner.
- Allow the cauliflower to cool a little before pouring it into a food processor. Add the butter, salt, pepper and coconut cream. Blitz until smooth.
- Pour the cauliflower mix on top of the mince and use a spoon or spatula to smooth into one layer covering the mince.Place in the centre of the oven for 20 – 25 mins.
- If you want to add cheese, sprinkle it over the cauliflower mash about 10 mins from the end.