Shepard’s Pie with a Veggie-Twist

Shepard's Pie Cottage Pie

Having an English husband is wonderful. But I have to admit, I was a little nervous about posting this recipe because our family over there is well-versed in Shepard’s Pie. Not only that, but we have friends who are as dear as family and they are IRISH. So here I am, the American addition, attempting to replicate one of their traditional dishes. And to top it off? I use cauliflower instead of potatoes – in fact, I use cabbage and cauliflower. So sort of a paleo take on Colcannon – another traditional Irish dish.

All I can hope is that they try it and find it as delicious as we do and that they’ll still let me come over and visit.

Shepard’s Pie

1/2 tsp. + 1 Tbsp. ghee

1/4 of a small head of cabbage, about 1/2 lb. or 3 cups, thinly sliced

1 lb. of ground lamb

1/2 a medium onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

3 oz. mushrooms, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp. coconut oil

1/2 tsp. thyme

2 T. tomato paste

1 T. coconut aminos

1 c. beef broth

1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped about 1 Tbsp.

1 20 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower

1/4 c. vegetable or chicken broth

1/3 c. coconut milk

1 tsp. salt, divided



1) Cook the cabbage Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt 1/2 a tsp. of ghee in a large skillet over medium-medium low heat. Add the shredded cabbage and 1/4 tsp. of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 10 minutes. If the cabbage starts to stick before it is tender, add 1-2 Tbsp. of water and continue to cook. Set aside.

2) Cook the lamb In the same pan you used for the cabbage, no need to rinse, increase the heat to medium and melt the coconut oil. Add the onion, carrots, mushrooms, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the lamb, breaking it into chunks, and the garlic, thyme, and pepper. Cook, continuing to break down the lamb, until it is cooked through, about 8 or 9 minutes. Add the tomato paste, coconut aminos, and beef broth. Simmer for about 25 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated or absorbed. Add the parsley and stir to combine.

3) Make the cauliflower mash Cook the cauliflower according to the package directions. Then place in a food processor or blender with 1 Tbsp. of ghee, 1/2 a tsp. of salt, the vegetable broth, and coconut milk. Process until smooth, adding a little broth or coconut milk if necessary to obtain a creamy consistency. Add the cooked cabbage to the processor and pulse about 10 times, until the cabbage is well incorporated but not totally blended in.

4) Assemble the pie Place the meat mixture in a 9 in. glass pie dish. Top with the cauliflower-cabbage mixture and spread gently and evenly over the top. Grind some pepper over the top and place in the oven for 30 minutes until bubbly and slightly golden. Allow to rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 3-4


Semi Sabich from Well Fed 2

If you follow my blog at all, you probably know that I have a big ol’ crush on Melissa Joulwan from The Clothes Make the Girl and that she has a new cookbook out, Well Fed 2. I want you to know, I like other paleo bloggers and cookbook authors as well, but SHE HAS A NEW COOKBOOK!! and I absolutely must cook from it.

The other night I decided to put a bunch of her recipes together. The main attraction was her Semi Sabich, which is a mouth-watering combination of spiced and roasted eggplant, lamb, hard boiled egg, and crunchy cucumber slaw. I drizzled it with tahini sauce and gobbled it all up with her Casablanca Carrots. The whole thing came together in a creamy, crunchy, savory spiced, citrusy delight. I highly recommend you give it a try (use beef if you aren’t into lamb). And guess what? Mel sent me the recipes for Semi Sabich and Tahini Dressing! Lucky for us, we also have the picture by David Humphreys – the dish itself was a work of art and the picture lets you know it.


Semi Sabich


1 large eggplant


2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

za’atar, to taste


2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 large seedless cucumber, diced 1 medium tomato, diced

1⁄2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons) 1⁄4 medium red onion, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

salt and ground black pepper, to taste


1 pound ground lamb

1/2 medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

2 tablespoons raisins

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried mint

1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


Tahini dressing

sliced hard-boiled eggs

fresh mint leaves

hot pepper rings

toasted sesame seeds

pickles or cornichons


Sweat the eggplant. Cut eggplant into 1/4-inch thick slices. Sprinkle the slices aggressively with salt on both sides and place in a colander or sieve to sweat for 30 minutes.

Prep the relish. In a medium bowl, mix olive oil and lemon juice with a fork. Add cucumber, tomato, parsley, and red onion. Toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roast the eggplant. Preheat oven to 450F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel, then brush with coconut oil and sprinkle with za’atar. Bake for 20 minutes, until browned and beginning to crisp. Meanwhile…

Brown the lamb. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add the lamb and cook until browned, breaking up big chunks with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, garlic, and raisins. Cook until the onions are soft, 5-7 minutes. Toss in the cumin, oregano, mint, Aleppo pepper, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant.

Assemble! To serve, place eggplant slices on a plate and top with lamb, relish, and other optional garnishes. Drizzle with sauces.

Tahini Dressing

1/2 cup tahini

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

salt and ground black pepper, to taste


Place all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth.

Allow the flavors to meld about 10 minutes before eating. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Tahini Dressing