Slow Carb Shepherds Pie


slow carb shepherds pie-2

Slow Carb Shepherds Pie

Technically a shepherds pie should be made with lamb mince and one made with beef is actually a cottage pie – but it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

serves 2 to 3
takes: about an hour

2 onions, peeled & chopped
450g (1lb) minced (ground) beef
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
1/2 large cauliflower, chopped into tiny trees
2 large hunks butter

1. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and cook onions, stirring occasionally until onions are soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 200C (400F).

2. Add beef and continue to cook and stir until well browned, about another 10 minutes.

3. Add tomatoes and simmer until the beef is no longer watery, about 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook cauliflower in a medium saucepan of salted boiling water for about 8 minutes or until the cauli is soft.

5. Drain cauli and return to the saucepan. Add butter and whizz with a stick blender until you have a chunky puree. Or whizz in a food processor.

6. Place beef in the base of a small oven proof dish. Top with a layer of mashed cauli.

7. Bake for 25 minutes or until hot, serve.

Quantities for Different Serving Sizes

I find it’s not worth the effort of making a smaller batch. Increasing is a different story. The cooking time will increase slightly but it won’t be a problem as long a your dish is big enough.

Prepare Ahead?

No problems. Just reheat in the oven for 15 minutes or so.


vegetarian / vegan – replace the beef with the same weight of crumbled tofu or replace with lentils.

dairy free
– replace the butter with a generous drizzle of olive oil. The secret to good bolognese is richness so be generous.

short on time – brown beef and simmer with sauce for a few minutes. Serve on top of a bed of mashed cauliflower.

carb lovers / more substantial – replace cauliflower with mashed potatoes.

paleo (gluten, grain + dairy-free) – use olive oil for butter.

more veg – add carrot and celery with the onion.

Problem Solving Guide

too bland
– season with extra salt & pepper.

pie sloppy – the beef and tomato needs a little time simmering to reduce down so your pie isn’t sloppy. Not much you can do now. But next time simmer a little longer.

not enough cauli to cover the base
– if your dish is too large the surface area will be too much. Try a smaller dish next time.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

minced (ground) beef – freeze it.

tomatoes – keep them in the pantry.

– will keep for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Can be frozen but the texture isn’t as good when defrosted.

butter – keeps in the fridge for months.

Serving Suggestions

Great on its own or with a green salad.

Leftover Potential

Excellent! Will keep in the fridge for a week or so.

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