Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shepherd's Pie With Cauliflower Puree

When I was younger my Uncle Charlie had a girlfriend, Sinead.  Sinead was from Ireland, shocker.  Her accent was beautiful, but as a kid, I hated her cooking.  I remember her cooking shepherd's pie, and I vividly recall refusing to eat it.  Meat + the word "pie" = SICK (to a kid in elementary school).

Now, I have a recipe for shepherd's pie that Camrann gave me, and it is permanently cataloged as a go-to recipe!


1 medium yellow onion
1 lb ground beef (we have been using elk)
1 cup thawed frozen green beans
1 cup thawed frozen peas and carrots
3/4 cup beef stock
1 head of cauliflower
Extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp thyme
1 Tbsp rosemary
 2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Cup grated cheddar cheese (this part is optional, depending on the desired calories)
Butter (also optional)

First things first, cut the green bits off of the cauliflower and cut it into chunks.  Plop the cauliflower into salted, boiling water until it is tender.  Drain the cauliflower and put it into a blender.  While the cauliflower is cooling, dice and saute the medium onion in some olive oil.  Add salt and pepper,your two diced cloves of garlic, and the rosemary and thyme.  Once the onions are translucent, add your meat and brown it up (this should be quick). 

Next, add both cups of thawed veggies and cook for about five minutes.  To thicken up the meat mixture, I add the 3/4 cup of stock and the 1 Tbsp of flour together into a Pyrex measuring cup, and whisk it together.  Once the two are mixed, stir it into the meat and let it simmer for five minutes.  The flour helps bind the pie contents, and if you add it dry, it turns into lumps.

While the flour is working its magic, add salt, pepper, a touch of olive oil, and the cream to your cauliflower.  Puree the cauliflower until it is the smooth.  The mixture should resemble mashed potatoes.

Remove the meat mixture from the stovetop and spoon it into a 9"x9" pan, then spread the cauliflower puree over the top.  Here is where the recipe changes based upon your diet.  Sometimes I sprinkle one cup of cheese on top of the puree, and other times I just dot the top with little bits of butter. Pick one.  If you choose to leave both out, the dish tastes like it is missing something (trust me, I know).  Some people add paprika for color, I don't, though, I suspect it wouldn't hurt.

Put your pie into a preheated oven at 375F for 35-40 minutes.  Let the pie rest for about ten minutes when you pull it out of the oven, and serve!

Seriously, it is delicious!

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