I had never tried Shepherd’s pie before I went to Canada few years ago. I hadn’t even heard of it. Wait what? Yeah, sounds unbelievable. I know.
But as I just love to try everything new it didn’t take long and I found this fixed star of western cuisine. And totally fell in love with it. With the beautiful simplicity surprisingly combined with lots of flavor. And primarily because I am the biggest fan of fast savory meals and this one just combines it all.
This recipe for Shepherd’s pie is using swede (rutabaga) instead of potatoes. I think it’s a great way how to sneak more nourishing veggies into the meal. Because swede is much lower in carbs than potatoes and contains lots of vitamins and other nutrients. All the ingredients used are also Paleo and Whole30 friendly. So it’s totally fine to have two portions instead of one. Not really. But tell it to my happy tummy.
- For the swede puree:
- 1 big swede (about 1 kg), peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of garlic powder
- 2 tbsp of ghee
- For the meat base:
- 500g of minced pork
- 500g of minced beef
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 1 tbsp of lard (you can use oil if you don't feel comfortable with lard)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- few sprigs of fresh thyme (only the leaves)
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- Place a large pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of lard and let it melt. Once the lard has melted, add all of the diced onion and cook for about two minutes, until the onion is slightly golden. Add the minced pork and beef and mix in a pinch of salt, few cracks of fresh pepper, crushed garlic and leaves of fresh thyme.
- Cooked the meat for about ten minutes until it is completely browned without any remaining pink pieces. You should also drain off any excess water at this time. Add the diced zucchini and cook for two more minutes.
- For the swede puree, boil the swede and parsnip in a pot of water with a pinch of salt until very soft. Then drain all the water and keep the vegetables in the pot. Add 2 tablespoons of ghee and mix everything with a hand blender, until smooth. Because swede holds quite a big amount of water there is no need to add any milk or other liquid. Once the puree is smooth, add a pinch of nutmeg (careful with this one, you can always add more), freshly ground pepper, garlic powder and bit more salt if needed, stir in properly.
- Preheat oven to 175 °C (347 °F). Toss your meat in a big baking dish and spread it evenly. Then top it with the puree and smooth it out with a spatula. Place it in the oven and bake for about 60 minutes, until the top gets bit browner but not black or burnt.