Ever make an authentic shepherd’s pie? Nope. Me either.
What I DO know, however, is what the basics of a shepherd’s pie are. It typically includes:
- A meat base, typically lamb, cooked in a gravy
- A sh*t ton of veggies. Think: peas, carrots, celery, onions.
- There’s a “crust” of mashed potatoes
Now, as delicious as that sounds, and I’m sure it is, I wanted to see if there was a way to take a healthier spin on it. A friend and I tackled a shepherd’s pie recipe from his Whole30 cookbook, and it was okay. To me, it was missing a gravy and some flavor (okay, a lot of flavor). So adding more flavor and a sauce was my challenge.
How did I make it so-called “healthier” and put my stamp on this dish? For starters, lean ground turkey is used instead of lamb to decrease the fat content. Instead of a butter heavy mashed potato topping? We’re going to use a sweet potato crust that does not skimp on flavor. And while we’re talking about flavor, I think the fresh rosemary is KEY in the flavor department with this recipe. Don’t skip out on it.
Here’s what it looks like before it goes into the oven:
Now, your turn. Here’s the full recipe:Print
A healthy spin on a classic Irish dish, this Shepherd’s pie is super hearty and does not skimp on flavor.
- 1 LB of lean ground turkey
- 3 carrots, peeled
- 3 celery stalks
- 5oz mushrooms (about half a carton)
- ½ white onion
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp celery seed
- Red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon (about ¼ lemon)
- 2 squirts of tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon tapioca powder
- 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water, if you do not have any on hand)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup canned lite coconut milk
- 2 TBSP ghee
- Chopped rosemary
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and preheat the oven to 375.
Prep the potatoes.
With a sharp knife, cut a few slits in the sweet potatoes (after rinsing them off and scrubbing with a brush). Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Please note that this step can be skipped if you have a sharp knife. However, I find it is easier to cube the potatoes when they are warmed.
Prep the veggies.
While the sweet potatoes are being microwaved, chop the peeled carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms. Set aside.
At this point, the sweet potatoes should be done. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cubes (doesn’t have to be perfect, as we are going to mash them later). Toss the cubes into the boiling water and let cook for 7-9 minutes or until tender.
Cook the veggies.
Heat 2 TBSP of the ghee in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Toss in the chopped veggies and mix. Season with salt, pepper, and celery seed. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the veggies begin to get tender. Don’t forget about the sweet potatoes, as they should almost be done at this point. Strain the sweet potatoes, put in a bowl, and set aside.
Add in the meat.
Once the veggies are done, you’ll want to add in the meat to the cast iron skillet. I use lean ground turkey to lighten this dish up. However, you can use the traditional lamb if you want. With a wooden spoon, break up the meat and cook for about 5 minutes. While the meat cooks, add in the remaining spices (oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and onion powder.
Prepare the sauce:
Once the meat is cooked, add in the coconut aminos, tomato paste and lemon juice. Mix until the tomato paste is fully incorporated. Add in the tapioca powder (or flour if you do not want this to be gluten free). Mix again. You’ll notice the sauce start to thicken (i.e. you’ll be able to run a spoon on the bottom of the pan and the sauce will not bleed into that “line”). At this point, add some water or chicken sauce to create more of a gravy that will thicken again while the dish cooks in the oven.
Make the sweet potato topping:
In the bowl with the sweet potato cubes, add in the ghee, coconut milk, rosemary and salt/pepper. I used an electric mixer to make this nice and smooth. Top the cooked meat and veggies with this sweet potato mixture, and spread evenly over it all. Be sure to make the potato topping go all the way to the edge to “seal” in the dish and ensure the gravy doesn’t bubble over. Top with fresh rosemary before baking at 375 for 30 minutes.
- Generously season with salt and pepper throughout cooking! Serve with fresh rosemary.
- Check out the step by step video on Instagram @missfingerfoodie!
Keywords: Shepherd's pie
ALRIGHT, DIG INNNNN!!!