Shepherd's Pie is one of those amazingly forgiving and incredibly resilient dishes. Whatever meat or veggies you have can be added, and the topping, although traditionally made of potatoes, can be transitioned to incorporate any manner of veggies (think carrots, parsnips, cauliflower, rutabaga, turnips, etc). Like a great soup, whatever you have on hand can be thrown into the mix! And the results remain delicious no matter the variation.
This particular recipe was inspired by a shepherd's pie I've had at a wonderful paleo restaurant in Portland called The Cultured Caveman. The flavors are incredible and it always leaves me feeling wonderfully nourished. This remake has been on the back burner for some time now, and since the winter months are perfect for warming comfort foods, I figured this was the perfect time to share!
While the addition of the liver may be off-putting to some, I highly recommend it because:
1. quality liver is one of nature's true powerhouse superfoods, high in nutrients and incredibly good for you,
2. In a dish like shepherd's pie, you don't even know its in there. It's a great way to disguise it, and
3. Liver adds bulk to a dish for cheap!
Follow the recipe as is for a super nourishing, super tasty comfort dish, or get creative and add variety for whatever you've got in the fridge. Either way, you're gonna love it!
Paleo and AIP Shepherd's Pie
(Gluten free, Grain free, Dairy free, Nut free)
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 lb ground lamb (or other ground meat)
- 1/2 lb lamb liver
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 1 tsp sea salt or smoked sea salt
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- dash of cloves (less than 1/4 tsp)
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste (if not AIP)
- 2 Tbs ghee or coconut oil, divided
- dash apple cider vinegar
- 1 lg or 2 medium sweet potatoes (yellow or white), cubed (approx. 4 cups)
- Additional cooked veggies, optional (think carrot, parsnips, cauliflower, turnip, rutabaga, carrot)
- 1-2 Tbs ghee or coconut oil
- 1/2-1 cup bone broth (to desired consistency)
- sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- If using liver (and I highly recommend you do for the nutrient density it brings!), soak in cold filtered water with a dash of vinegar for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly. You can dice the liver first then cook, or cook and then dice (cooking instructions below).
- Add enough water to a medium pot to cover diced sweet potatoes. Heat on medium high heat until boiling. Cook until potatoes are softened, approx. 10-15 minutes (cooking times may vary). Once potatoes are cooked, strain and add to a medium bowl.
- While potatoes are cooking, add 1 Tbs ghee to a medium skillet heated over medium heat. Add liver and cook until browned. Remove and set aside. (You may need to wipe your skillet clean after cooking liver)
- To your skillet over medium heat, add additional 1 Tbs ghee, diced onion, and carrots. Cook for a few minutes, then add fresh garlic, salt, basil, oregano, thyme, turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Add ground lamb to onion mixture and cook until browned. Add diced liver and stir to combine. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To your cooked potatoes, add all other topping ingredients and mash to desired consistency.
- Add filling to an 8 x 11 glass baking dish and top with mashed sweet potatoes, smoothing to cover filling.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until top is browning. You can also broil for a few minutes additionally for extra caramelization.
- Remove from oven and serve warm.
I hope this warming, nourishing dish becomes a regular in your winter comfort food rotation! It's a fabulous way to sneak in some extra nutrients and really show your body some extra love through food.
In loving health,
Note: This post contains affiliate links. While a little extra moolah is always nice and helps keep this blog up and running, the sole purpose of sharing these links is to help you find quality ingredients with ease and take out some of the guess work. It is my hope that your experiences in the kitchen are free of stress and frustration, and this is my way of helping you get there. I also never advocate for anything that I don't 100% believe to be a quality item. All recipes are solely mine. Sharing is caring, and I kindly ask that you give credit appropriately.