Monday, February 2, 2015

Paleo Shepherd's Pie

If you're like me you've probably been burned by a few cauliflower recipes so I'm always leery of them too. You can use potatoes in place of the cauliflower or combine potatoes and cauliflower to increase the vegetable content. That's the great thing about cooking, you can alter it to your taste. I made this dish to take to a group of ladies I meet with once a month. Each month a different person brings dinner and this was my contribution. I'm sensitive to white potatoes so I used cauliflower mash instead of potatoes. That night 15 people sat around the room chowing down and no one suspected they were eating cauliflower instead of potatoes until I told them. Since the number of ladies who attend somewhat varies I only made one 13x9 casserole and it wasn't enough. I should have made 2. Since I was rushed by time I failed to grab any photos but I wanted to share this recipe because it went over so well with my friends. The next time I make it I'll be sure to take photographs.

Ingredients:

2 lbs of grass fed ground beef
6 carrots peeled and sliced
1 stalk of celery quartered and diced
1 large bay leaf
1/2 red onion diced
3 cloves of garlic minced
2t salt
4t arrowroot powder
2t paleo worcestershire sauce
1/3C red wine
~3C water

Bring a pot of water to boil to begin steaming the cauliflower. (see below) Turn the oven on to 350F. In a large saute pan begin browning the beef with the onion and salt. When the beef is cooked add the carrots, celery, bay leaf, and garlic. Stir for a minute or two until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scrape up any brown bits from the bottom, and allow the wine to almost completely evaporate. If you're making this recipe Whole 30 simply skip to the next step and omit the wine. Dissolve the arrowroot powder in COLD water. The ratio above makes a sauce similar to a chicken or beef gravy you would put on mashed potatoes. If you want your sauce thicker add less water and add more water if you want it thinner. My advice is to start thicker because it's easier to add water to thin it out than it is to wait for water to evaporate. Turn the meat sauce to low while you puree the cauliflower.

Cauliflower Mash

2 heads of cauliflower chopped
6T of Nutiva Shortening, butter, ghee, your fat of choice
1/4C water
1 1/4t salt
pepper


Chop and steam 2 heads of cauliflower. When the cauliflower is fork tender put it into a food processor and puree. If you end up with a chunk that won't puree scoop it out. Add the shortening, salt, pepper, and water and puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Place the meat sauce into a 13x9 pan and pierce a few carrots with a fork to see how tender they are. If they are pretty firm the casserole will need more time in the oven than if they are fairly soft. Top the sauce with cauliflower mash and cover the casserole with foil. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are fork tender. Even if the carrots are cooked to your liking when you assemble the casserole 20 minutes in the oven will help marry the flavors of the two layers.