While I was in Wisconsin a few weeks back, I got sick (for the second year in a row) and my mom cooked up a storm. One night she had family over and made Stuffed Manicotti, which she refers to as String Cheese Lasagna, Spinach and Chicken Alfredo Lasagna and her famous Garlic Bread. I asked her to make enough chicken lasagna to send a small casserole dish home with me. That small casserole dish ended up weighing 12 pounds. Accompanying me and the casserole dish home was two pounds of cheese curds I found at the local Costco, two sticks of summer sausage, cottage bacon, a pound of liver sausage and a variety of Christmas cookies including everyone’s favorite, Peanut Butter Balls.
I pulled five pounds of beef from the freezer to make room for the twenty pounds of food I lugged back home with me. One of the things I had in mind was to make a Shepherd’s pie with cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes. I found a good looking recipe at Joy Filled Eats that I loosely followed. I wanted a ginormous amount of food to be able to eat across many meals but it was so good that the dish didn’t end up lasting very long.
- 2 lb 85% fat ground beef
- 1 c. chopped onion
- 8 oz package mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
- 1 T. minced garlic
- 1 c. crushed tomatoes
- 32 oz riced cauliflower
- 8 + 2 T. grassfed butter
- 2 oz Parmesan or Romano cheese, shredded
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the ground beef to a large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until it is browned and cooked through adding the onion, garlic and mushroom about halfway through. Make sure to cook the beef mixture until the onion is soft and translucent and the mushrooms have softened and shrunk. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, a large microwavable bowl, add cauliflower rice. Cover and cook on high for approximately 6 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add the butter, shredded cheese, salt, and pepper. Process until smooth.
- Place the ground beef mixture in the bottom of a large casserole dish. Top with the mashed cauliflower. Sprinkle a bit of paprika over the top for some color (you can also use Lawry’s seasoning salt or any other seasoning of the same color so long as the flavor is something that goes with the dish). I added a few pats of butter on top before cooking.
- Bake at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is bubbly and the topping is browned.
I find cauliflower mash remarkably versatile. While it isn’t as starchy as regular mashed potatoes and doesn’t have the same consistency, it’s still a good stand-in if you’re a) trying to avoid carbohydrates b) trying to eat healthier or c) both.
I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower. I find the taste skunky. But in certain dishes you can end up hiding the flavor almost completely and mashed cauliflower is one those dishes. In contrast, in certain dishes you cannot hide the flavor. Cauliflower Pizza Crust is one of those dishes.