Shepherds Pie {paleo}

I’m not sure why I settled on paleo a recipe for Shepherd’s pie because I generally do not care for Irish food and I’ve never made a traditional Shepherd’s pie. I’ve made what I would consider to be fun twists, like a Thanksgiving Day Shepherd’s Pie and Southwest Shepherd’s Pie but the regular variety never really gave me much of a thrill. Yet I found myself enticed by paleo Shepherd’s pie recipes.

A lot of recipes I saw called for tomato paste which I didn’t care for. They also called for sweet potatoes. While I like sweet potatoes, I didn’t think I would love the taste of sweet potatoes mixed with ground beef and veggies. So I wanted to find something different. A few recipes used a combination of sweet potato and cauliflower and what seemed like rather complicated ingredients. Like coconut milk. I couldn’t bring myself to add coconut milk to this savory dish so instead I created a cauliflower puree by steaming the cauliflower florets and pureeing them on high in my Vitamix with four tablespoons of butter, some salt and some pepper.

Oh my.

The cauliflower puree was heavenly. I was a bit remorseful when I began scraping out the inside of my blender thinking I should have went with all cauliflower instead of mixing it into sweet potatoes. But I really wanted that mashed potato texture which I felt you could only achieve by … mashing potatoes.

I made this recipe in stages out of pure exhaustion and because I can’t get a good picture when it’s dark out. I like the natural light. So I tried to bake this after work one evening having assembled the ground beef ingredients one day and adding the potato mixture the next.

I thought the recipe would be good. I didn’t realize the recipe would be phenomenal. This recipe is healthy comfort food at its best. You can taste a hint of sweet potatoes but I really think the cauliflower puree does a good job of tempering the flavor. My only complaint about the dish was that I thought the ratio of beef to mash was slightly off; there should have been more beef. But the mash was so delicious how can you complain?


  • 1 lb grass-fed beef
  • 2 celery stalks finely minced
  • 2 large carrots, finely minced
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ½tsp. dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 14.5 oz can beef broth
  • ¼ c. tapioca flour
  • 3 medium-sized white sweet potatoes
  • 1 small/medium head of cauliflower
  • 4 T. grass-fed butter
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel and cut potatoes into chunks and boil in salted water about 20 minutes until fork tender.
  2. Wash and cut cauliflower into florets. Steam over medium-low heat until fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté onion, celery and carrots in a skillet over medium-low heat about 10 minutes with a bit of olive oil or avocado oil.
  4. Add the ground beef, seasonings and garlic; pan fry until beef is cooked through.
  5. Next stir in the beef broth and tapioca starch or flour. Simmer until thick. Mine thickened immediately. Spoon meat mixture into in an oven-safe pie dish or casserole dish.
  6. In a high-speed blender, puree cauliflower and butter with some salt and pepper until smooth.
  7. In the potato saucepan (or a mixing bowl), mash cooked potatoes with the cauliflower puree. Add salt and pepper to taste or any seasonings you may like. Spread the mashed potato mixture over the beef filling. img_6852img_6854
  8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes; the beef mixture will be bubbling up around the edges.
  9. If you opt to prepare this dish the day before you may need to bake a bit longer. I baked mine about 60 minutes and then I set the oven to broil for the last few minutes. Serve immediately.

Though I’m not sure I’d totally dig the regular Shepherd’s pie I dig this version. It’s relatively easy to make and yields a ton of leftovers, especially when you’re serving just yourself and your dad. You can go back for seconds and feel relatively guilt free about it. Who doesn’t love that?

Recipe rating: 


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