This Anti Candida Shepherd’s Pie brings to mind cold winter nights, cozy fireplaces, and loved ones surrounding the dinner table enjoying a hot meal together. And then I come back to reality as I write this, sitting outside, as it’s 80 degrees here in southern California. It’s December 14th y’all, what the frick?!? Well, I may not get the weather that comes with this dish, but at least I can make Shepherd’s Pie any day of the year!
This hearty dish has a fiercely debated past as to when it was created, where, and by whom. And like any fantastically successful sitcom, there are lots of spin-offs. Shepherd’s Pie traditionally uses lamb as its magically minced and tender meat stuffed inside, where Cottage Pie uses beef. A Cumberland Pie sprinkles breadcrumbs (and sometimes cheese) on top. And a Shepherdless Pie is the clever name for a vegetarian version.
My Anti Candida Shepherd’s Pie version, which happens to make my husband, Matt, salivate every time I make it, gives you the option to use ground beef, bison, or turkey for the filling. Along with a mix of veggies on the inside, I also use a half cauliflower / half sweet potato mix for the mash on top. Most of us could probably use more veggies in our lives, hence the added cauliflower. But cauliflower was also an intentional nutritional choice as it is a major player in the foods that are natural born cancer-fighters. (For more on this, wait for my post about my Crispy Cauliflower appetizer).
And so, with my own little touches added to this dish, I think it deserves its own special name. I give you Matt’s Favorite Shepherd’s Pie, lovingly named after my husband. I hope you like it as much as he does 🙂
Anti Candida Shepherd’s Pie
HEALTHY BONUS: This Anti Candida Shepherd’s Pie fits the following diets:
Matt's Favorite Shepherd’s Pie
Paleo | Gluten-Free | Grain-Free | Anti-Candida
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup red onion small dice
- 6 – 8 cloves garlic minced
- 2 small carrot small dice
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 1 cup broccoli small chop
- 1/2 pound ground beef* bison, or turkey
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tapioca flour
- 2 cups white sweet potato** washed and cubed
- 3 cups cauliflower chopped
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt more if desired
- Filtered water
- 4 Tablespoons grass-fed butter***
- Pinch black pepper
- 2 green onions minced
For the filling, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion, garlic, carrot and a pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Next add the chopped broccoli and another pinch of sea salt and sauté for 3 – 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and pour contents into a large mixing bowl, using a spatula.
In the same skillet, over medium heat, add the ground meat of choice and another pinch of sea salt. Start crumbling the meat using a wooden spoon. Continue to sauté and crumble until the meat is almost cooked through. Add the can of diced tomatoes and give it a quick stir with the meat. Add this to the mixing bowl with the onion mixture. Finally add the tapioca flour and mix to combine everything evenly. Pour into an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or standard sized pie dish and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and place oven rack to the middle shelf.
For the topping, in a medium size saucepan add the sweet potato, cauliflower, garlic, coconut milk, and sea salt. Add filtered water to just cover the top of the veggies. Bring to a boil, cover with a fitted lid, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is pierceable with a fork. Remove from heat.
If there is excess liquid, use a slotted spoon to remove the potatoes, cauliflower, and garlic cloves from the saucepan and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and black pepper. Using a potato masher, mash until creamy and everything is fully incorporated. Option to use a hand held mixer to mash the potatoes as well. Mix in the green onions and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if necessary.
Spread the potato mixture on top of the ground meat and veggie mix in the baking dish. Bake for 50 – 60 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.
*For Vegan version substitute 2 cans pinto beans, rinsed well.
**If sweet potato is organic, no need to peel.
***For Vegan version substitute equal amounts coconut oil for grass-fed butter.