I recently traveled to Ireland, the land of meat and potatoes, with my two favorite travel buddies, and a new travel buddy. Ireland, as stereotyped, really is the land of meat and potatoes. However, it is also a culinary melting pot. You can find just about any type of dish or cuisine that you’re craving in any part of Ireland. I like to really immerse myself in the culture of the places I travel, so I stuck with the traditional Irish dishes like Fish and Chips, and Guinness. Especially the Guinness. Hey, I was trying to live like a local. Other items we frequently saw on menus (and sampled) were Soda Bread, Mushy Peas, Banoffi Pie, Chicken Goujons with Chili Sauce, and of course, Shepherd’s Pie. When this Shepherd’s Pie was assigned to me, I was excited to recreate a recipe from the land I most recently visited. I was also met with the task of making a Whole 30-friendly version as I was in the midst of that challenge. When I came home from Italy, I cooked many Italian dinners for my family on Sundays, and after visiting Japan, I made my family partake in an at home sushi making class led by yours truly. I love bringing bits of my travels home with me. After all, I’ve felt that each place has left it’s mark on me in some way, and getting to share that with my family is real pleasure. I was more than happy to bring this Shroomy Shepherd’s Pie to family dinner.
I recently had the opportunity to work with Epicurious and Reynold’s to test their line of disposable bakeware. I was in the middle of the Whole 30, so I made a compliant Shroomy Shepherd’s Pie at home, and transported it all the way to my mom’s house for Sunday family dinner in the bakeware. I also made a non-compliant pie topped with white potatoes as I knew the entire family wouldn’t be on board with the sweet potato topping. If you’re eating Whole 30 or paleo, and you love Shepherd’s Pie, this is the recipe for you. I love mushrooms so I added a mushroom gravy to each pie which I think really added to the earthiness of the dish.
By the end of Sunday dinner, we only had less than half a pie left and my brother asked to keep it so he could have it for lunch the next day. The recipe below is Whole 30 compliant. Head over to Epicurious for the more traditional version of this shroomy shepherd’s pie.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, roasted and flesh scooped out of skin (this can be done up to 2 days ahead of time!)
- 3 tablespoons ghee, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided, optional
- 1 pound ground lamb or beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced small
- 2 large carrots, diced small
- 2 celery stalks, diced small
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup sliced button or crimini mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon water
- Place the sweet potato flesh in a bowl, add the ghee and 1 teaspoon salt, and stir to mix well.
- Place the lamb or beef in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes.
- Place the browned meat in a pie pan or other baking dish and set aside.
- Wipe the saute pan of excess grease, leaving a thin layer to just coat the pan. Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic, and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the vegetables on top of the meat.
- In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee, add the mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch and water until smooth.
- Make a well in the center of the mushrooms, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee and the arrowroot starch mixture. Stir to combine and coat the mushrooms. Cook until thick, about 2 minutes.
- Pour the mushrooms all over the top of the meat and vegetables.
- Spread the sweet potato mixture across the top of the shepherd's pie. If desired, place in a 400F oven until slightly golden brown, about 15 minutes, to form a crust.