Make a Healthy Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
(with LOTS of Minced Vegetables!)My healthy shepherd’s pie recipe uses considerably less meat than traditional recipes and incorporates way more vegetables than you would think would even work. When you make the recipe, you’ll see the vegetable to meat ratio is pretty much equal. If you are a meat-lover, this might make you nervous. But trust me, the vegetables are the secret star ingredient that not only boost the overall nutritional profile of the dish, but also the flavor. By finely mincing the vegetables in a food processor, sautéing them and then mixing with the meat, the vegetables do wonders to elevate the entire dish.
Shepherds Pie Vs Cottage PieBy the way, classic Shepherds Pie uses lamb, not beef. If you substitute beef for lamb, then you’ll be making Cottage Pie. In fact, I initially created a simpler version of this dish for my friend Lisa Leake as a beef-based Cottage Pie over at 100 Days of Real Food (if you have not yet heard of Lisa’s NY Times bestselling cookbook, it’s a must-buy if you have kids and are trying to raise them on real food.) In addition to swapping lamb for beef, the Shepherds Pie Recipe below also incorporates peas and wine. If you want a simpler version, you can always just use the recipe featured on 100 Days of Real Foods. Ok, lets get cooking!
Shepherds Pie Recipe with Lots of Vegetables
- Yield: 8 1x
- ½ cup raw cashews
- ½ teaspoon unrefined sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 pounds organic Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes (unpeeled and cubed)
- 1 medium leek stalk (cleaned and sliced into thin rounds)
- ½ yellow onion (chopped)
- 4 carrots (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 ¼ pounds ground pastured lamb
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour or white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat)
- 2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie’s Naturals)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (plus more to taste)
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cups frozen petite peas
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the cashews and 3/4 cup water in a high speed blender and process for a few minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add ½ teaspoon salt and process again. Set cashew cream aside.
- Add potatoes to a large pot of salted water and bring water to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer; cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until mostly lump free; drizzle in the cashew cream a bit at a time, until desired consistency. Season with salt to taste.
- Place the sliced leek rounds in a food processor and pulse several times to shred. Remove shredded leeks from food processor and set aside. Process the carrots and then the onions in the same manner, keeping all of the vegetables separate.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shredded leeks, carrots, and onions; sauté 5 to 6 minutes, or until vegetables soften a bit. Season vegetables with salt to taste and add the fresh thyme.
- Add the ground lamb and use a spatula to fully incorporate the meat in with the vegetables. Cook for about 5 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
- Use a fork to whisk in the flour. Season with more salt to taste. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, wine and peas and cook for about 8 minutes, until all ingredients are fully incorporated and all liquid is absorbed.
- Spread the meat mixture on the bottom of a 9-inch square casserole dish or on the bottom of individual ramekins. Spoon the potatoes over the meat and smooth with the back of a spoon. Brush the potatoes lightly with oil; bake for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are just lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes before serving.