Pastore Pie - Italian Shepherd's Pie
Shepherd’s Pie (or Cottage Pie or even Potato Topped Chicken Pot Pie) is an absolute favorite around here, its so homey and easy to whip up and no one complains about dinner. I wanted to make a new version that was just as delicious but was a different flavor profile, Italian flavors are always a safe bet. Plus it is still gross and cold out so a warming casserole of sorts is just what we needed. I added a bunch of veggies and swapped the potatoes for cauliflower to make it lower carb and not as heavy. What other cuisines do you think would be a delicious update to an old favorite?
1 head of garlic
1 lb ground beef (omit or sub sauteed mushrooms or cooked beans, lentils or cannellini)
3 links hot Italian sausage (sub plant based sausage)
1 1/2 cup onion (one medium), diced
1 1/4 cup carrots (6 small), sliced
1 cup peppers (1 medium), diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 can petite diced tomatoes
3 cups zucchini, thick chop
3 handfuls chopped kale
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
2 steam in bag cauliflower (12 oz), prepare as directed
2 Tablespoons ghee (sub butter or vegan spread)
1/4 cup almond milk (sub milk of choice)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the very top off the head of garlic so the cloves are exposed. Drizzle a little oil and salt and wrap in foil. Roast garlic for 40 minutes. Let cool.
- Spray a large oven safe skillet with avocado oil and heat to medium-high heat. Add the beef and sausage, brown while breaking up with a spoon.
- Add the diced onions and sliced carrots and combine with the meat, season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Once the onions have softened, add the peppers, garlic, and herbs, stir to combine, cook for a few minutes until carrots have become tender.
- Combine the tomatoes, zucchini, and kale into the skillet and stir until the kale has slightly wilted. If using beans in place of meat, stir to combine at this stage. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Sprinkle the tapioca starch over and mix in until it evenly coats the filling. Level the filling out and increase the oven temp to 400.
- While the filling is cooking, steam the cauliflower in the microwave per the instructions, let cool slightly. In a blender, dump in the cauliflower, ghee, milk, salt, pepper, and squeeze out the roasted garlic, using the whole head. Cover and pulse on high speed until mostly smooth, keep some texture. Spread evenly over the filling.
- Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Broil for a couple minutes to create some browning. Let it sit for a minute before serving.
Get all those veggies chopped and ready. Makes the process faster and not as hectic.
Roasting garlic is an easy, cheap, and healthy way to add a bunch of flavor to dishes. Just chop off the top, drizzle with oil, sprinkle of salt and wrap it up in foil. Pop that present in the oven for 40 minutes and you have a flavor bomb. You want to cool it before squeezing because it is really freaking hot and will burn your hand, not that I have personal experience or anything….
Meat, hard veggies, herbs and spices, then soft veggies. That is the best way to cook the filling. You want to make sure those harder vegetables get soft and cooked and you don’t want the soft vegetables to be mush, so you cook them at different stages. Sprinkling the tapioca in after the kale is softened ensures that you have a thicker filling and it absorbs the liquid released from the tomatoes and zucchini.
Looking so pretty and colorful. If you wanted, you could cook this a little on the stove and mix it with some pasta for a hearty dinner too!
The topping is super easy, just blend it all together, cauliflower, ghee, milk, squeezed roasted garlic, and salt and pepper. Pulse it and get it to your desired consistency. THAT’S IT
Drop spoonfuls of the topping and then spread evenly over the top. Then bake!