We weren’t Irish, but Shepherd’s Pie was a traditional Irish dish my mom frequently made for our family dinners when I was growing up. It’s a comfort food dish I have always loved and a pub food staple I ate plenty of while studying abroad in London in my college days (this was back in the day when I never gave a second thought to what I ate!)
For the love of shepherd’s pie, I figured I would “clean up” an Emerald Isle favorite and create a healthy shepherd’s pie recipe that uses less meat, no dairy and lots more veggies than the traditional Irish version.
Make a Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Using the Best Meat You Can Find … And Then Add Lots of Veggies!
My healthy shepherd’s pie recipe uses considerably less meat than traditional recipes and incorporates lots of extra veggies )you’ll when you start making the recipe that the veggie to meat ratio is pretty much equal.) But my version has so much flavor that I promise you won’t miss all that extra meat one bit!
By the way, classic Shepherd’s Pie uses lamb, not beef. But feel free to use pastured ground beef in place of the lamb if you wish.
Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Serves: 6 -8
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (keep the skins on), cut into fourths
- 1/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 pastured organic egg yolk
- Unrefined sea salt & black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium leek stalk, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 of a Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 pound organic, grass-fed ground lamb
- 2 tablespoons white whole wheat flour or 1-for-1 gluten free flour
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie’s Naturals) (gluten free if following a GF diet)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and place them back in the pot. Set potatoes aside.
- Place the cashews, water and egg yolk in a high-speed blender (such as a Vitamix) and process for 1 full minute, or until smooth and creamy. Pour the cashew cream on top of the potatoes and use a potato masher or stick blender to mash. Season with salt to taste. Set mashed potatoes aside.
- Place the sliced leek rounds into a food processor or mini Cuisinart, pulse several times to shred. Set shredded leeks aside.
- Repeat step #3 with the onions and carrots.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat; add the leeks, onion, carrots and garlic and saute for 4 -5 minutes, until vegetables soften a bit. Add the peas and thyme and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground lamb and use a fork and knife to cut the lamb into the vegetables. Cook for 5-6 minutes, or until lamb is cooked through.
- Add the flour to the lamb and vegetable mixture and stir to combine. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the wine, Worchestershire and tomato poaste; pour the liquid mixtxure onto the lamb and vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Spread the meat mixture evenly on the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole. Spoon the potatoes over the meat and smooth with the back of a spoon. Brush the potatoes lightly with oil. Broil 6-8 inches from the heat, for about 8 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly browned. Remove the pie from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm.