It’s St. Patrick’s Day and I’m Irish (partly anyway), and I was craving some Irish fare. Considering I am not a huge fan of Irish food, this hankering had to be the real deal and addressed ASAP. I started thinking of the Sheperd’s Pie my mom would make growing up. It had ground beef sauteed with onions and a delicious layer of mashed potatoes on top. And there’s the catch – how the heck do I get around using mashed potatoes?!
Sometimes when I’m craving mashed potatoes I make mashed cauliflower and turnip – it is yum (especially with roasted garlic) and challenge anyone to argue otherwise. The problem is that mashed cauliflower and turnips don’t have the same “bind” as mashed potatoes. So I decided to use a bit of boiled yucca to help with the consistency.
Now, you may be thinking, is Yucca Paleo? It’s ranked somewhere between a sweet potato and a white potato. It’s okay every now and again, so I opted to use a bit of it here. If you’d prefer to not use the yucca, feel free to leave it out. It will still be yum 😉
For this recipe you will need:
2T. coconut oil
2 lbs. of grass-fed beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 c. chopped carrots
3 turnips (medium sized), cut into chunks
1 lb. cauliflower
1 small yucca root, peeled and cut
1 c. beef broth
2 T. tomato paste
2 T. Worchestershire sauce
2 oz. finely shredded sharp raw milk cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
You’re going to be doing a lot of multi-tasking, so have all of your veggies prepped and ready to go. Your yucca and cauliflower/turnip mixture will be cooking at the same time. Once they’re going, you can start the beef filling.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Add the yucca root to a small pot. Bring to a boil and allow to lightly boil for approximately 20 minutes (or until the yucca is tender, i.e. a fork goes through it easily).
Lightly coat a long baking dish with coconut oil. Add the cauliflower and turnip chunks the baking dish and coat lightly with oil, salt and pepper. Place in the oven. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until tender.
Grease a large casserole bowl with ghee. Set aside. This is what you’ll put all of your ingredients in for the final bake.
Add coconut oil (2T.) to a large saucepan on the stove top on medium heat. Once melted, add the chopped carrots and lightly brown. Next, turn down the heat to low-medium and add the onions. Cook until the onions have become just slightly transparent.
Set the carrots and onions aside (into a medium bowl).
Add the cup of beef broth, tomato paste, and Worchestershire sauce to the saucepan. Whisk until the tomato paste is dissolved into the broth and bring to a boil. Cook down the sauce until thickened.
Now, add your ground beef to the sauce and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add the carrots and onions back to the pan. Add salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1 t. of each). Turn the heat off and cover.
Pull the roasted cauliflower and turnips from the oven (note, the edges should be browned) and drain the yucca. Turn down the oven to 250F.
Add the yucca, cauliflower, turnip and 1 T. of ghee to a large food processor or blender (you could also hand mash or mix) and puree. Add the grated cheese and continue to puree until smooth (mostly smooth).
Add the meat mixture to the bottom of the baking dish. Drain off some of the liquid if need be – you don’t want your root filling to get super mushy from meat juices.
Next, cover with your root veggie filling and place in the oven for approximately 25 minutes at 250F. I broiled mine on low for an additional 5 minutes to slightly brown the edges.
Once the Shepard’s Pie is finished baking, you’ll need to let it sit at least 15 minutes or so to set.
Now, eat and enjoy!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!