Thursday, March 8, 2012

Comfort Food -- A New, Improved Shepherd's Pie

Last weekend, I was craving some kind of comfort food. And my dietician buddy Steph at WeightWise had given me a recipe for a Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie.

The key is replacing the mashed potatoes with mashed cauliflower mixed with ricotta cheese.

Of course, I can't ever leave well enough alone and I worked on elevating the humble Shepherd's Pie a bit. I added onion, garlic and carrot for color. And I infused some more flavor with fresh rosemary from my garden and some dried thyme. I halved the recipe because I was just cooking for me.

I also cooked the cauliflower a little differently than the recipe called for to get some more flavor into the cauliflower. So here 'tis:

Low-Carb Shepherd's Pie
Meat Mixture
1 lb. ground beef, preferably organic
2 oz. fresh green beans, cut in about 1/4" pieces
1/2 zucchini, diced in about 1/4" pieces
1/2 c. carrots, diced in about 1/4" pieces
1/2 c. onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 T. fresh rosemary, diced finely
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried basil
1/2 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten

1/2 head cauliflower
1 c. chicken broth, preferably homemade
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 T. butter
1/3 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground beef the beef is no longer pink. Drain the cooked meat in a colander and return to pan.

Chop vegetables and start with carrots. Cook carrots for about 2 minutes, then add zucchini, onion and garlic. Add ground beef mixture, herbs and tomato paste. Mix in egg. Pat mixture into a quart baking dish.

Chop cauliflower and put in deep pan with chicken broth and smashed garlic cloves. Bring broth to boil, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Either mash with a potato masher or use a food processor or immersion blender to pureƩ. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in ricotta cheese. Spread evenly over meat mixture.

Cook for about 30 minutes.

And apologies for the pictures going up all katy-wampus. I'm still learning when it comes to figuring out the finer points of blogging.


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