Confession... I definitely researched the origin of "Shepherd's Pie" before I wrote this post. I thought it was an Irish dish, but apparently it was used all over Europe in the 1800's. English, French, Irish. This pie has been around the block. Well, not this particular recipe since there is no crust and we aren't using potatoes. I'll give you a pass if you really can't live without potatoes but no crust! Think of your thighs like I do. Or your cholesterol, whichever concerns you more.
This recipe is surprisingly delicious, I pinky promise. My husband hates cauliflower with a passion. It's like profanity to him when I mention it. I sneak attacked him with this recipe and didn't tell him it was actually mashed cauliflower until his finished his plate. Ha, just like I do to my kids.
This dish is definitely under the "comfort food" category for me. It's warm, filling, full of flavor and of course, much healthier for you than the old school version! One of the best things about this one is that you can change it every time. Don't like peas? No problem, use green beans. Add whichever veggies make you oh so happy.
If you haven't caught on by now, the reason I call this a "Shepherd-Less Pie" is because I don't use pie crust... or gravy. Ready to get cooking?
1 lb ground beef
4 ounce bag of frozen peas and carrots (yes! frozen! So much easier, trust me.)
4 ounce bag of frozen green beans
1 tablespoon Italian spices
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bag frozen cauliflower
1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk (you can use any non dairy milk you like)
2 tablespoons unsalted, grass fed butter, divided (I like to use this)
1 tsp minced garlic
1-2 pieces bacon, cooked
For the meat filling:
Heat 1 tablespoon of butter on the pan, then brown your meat
Once the meat is brown or near brown, add in your frozen veggies of choices
Get those veggies nice and thawed out, then season with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. (Full disclosure...I'm terrible at measuring things when I create recipes. I'm guessing on the amount of seasoning but taste the meat as you go and add more if you like tons of flavor!)
For the mashed cauliflower:
While the meat is cooking, throw your cauliflower in a microwave safe dish. Add a bit of water and microwave about 3-5 minutes or until soft.
Grab a food processor or blender and add the cauliflower.
Once cauliflower is inside your appliance of choice, add in the rest of the butter, garlic, almond milk, bacon and use salt and pepper to taste.
Blend, dance, blend some more.
Taste the cauliflower once blended and add more salt and/or pepper to your liking.
Time to make this dish pretty!
Preheat the oven to 375
Using a pie dish (keeping the Shepherd's pie look), line the bottom with the meat filling.
Top the meat with mashed cauliflower
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cauliflower sets to a more firm texture
Sprinkle with parsley for a fancier look
Serve warm and enjoy the instant, guilt free comfort in your tummy!
Note: If your cauliflower isn't as creamy as you'd like, add more almond milk. Start with one or two splashes then blend until you're satisfied with the texture.