Sweet potato shepherd’s pie – a paleo alternative to the country classic
Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie as it’s also known, was likely a staple meal when you were growing up, and perhaps it still is today. There is something positively comforting about this simple dish, which is essentially a crustless meat pie topped with mashed potato. What’s even more comforting about this particular recipe (which is paleo friendly and sugar free) is that it’s oozing with hearty flavours, packed with nutrient-dense vegetables, and topped with a sweet-as creamy crust. Best of all, it’s just as easy to whip up as the old-fashioned version, so my guess is you’ll be making this recipe on a pretty regular basis.
Sweet potato crust
1.5 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
1 tablespoon dukkah (I used Murrengudy Pistachio dukkah)
2 tablespoons coconut cream
500gm beef mince
1 tablespoon coconut or macadamia oil
1 brown onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 small red chillies, finely sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
1 carrot, grated
1 cup button mushrooms, chopped
1 x 400ml can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup stock (I used lamb)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 sprig of basil
1 sprig of oregano
1 – 2 tablespoons coconut flour
Italian parsley, to garnish
- Add sweet potato to a large saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until soft, then turn off the heat and drain the water from the sausepan.
- Mash the sweet potato, add the coconut cream and stir to combine. Add the dukkah and stir through. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole dish over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and turn the heat down to low. Cook until the onion is translucent.
- Turn the heat up to medium, add the beef and cook until browned.
- Add the vegetables, chillies and herbs and stir through.
- Add the tomatoes and stock and stir to combine.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, add coconut flour, starting with 1 tablespoon, and stir to thicken. If it’s still too juicy for your liking, add another tablespoon of coconut flour.
- Transfer to a medium-sized casserole dish and top with sweet potato crust.
- Bake in oven, uncovered for 10 minutes or until sweet potato starts to crisp.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with fresh Italian parsley.
Serves 4 – 6.