Easy but Tasty: Paleo Shepard's Pie

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This was so good. I can't wait to devour the leftovers.
Lately, we have been trying more and more traditional Irish dishes at home and when out to eat. One dish that I have fallen in love with is Shepard's Pie. It is a fairly simple recipe that has room for variability and play. Traditionally, it is ground beef with spices, peas, carrots and onions that is topped with mashed potatoes. You then bake it again to brown the mashed potato topping.

Here is our take on this classic dish. We only use two pans in this recipe so there is a very easy cleanup afterwards as well ;)


  • 3-4 Fresh Carrots, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1lb-1.5lbs Ground Beef

(Depends on amount of people you wish to serve, 1lb was good for the two of us and enough  to have leftovers for each of us as well)
 ***Grass-fed beef is going to be the ideal and gold standard here.

  • 3/4 Cup Beef Broth or 1 Cube of Bouillon Beef Broth mixed with of a cup of water.
  • 3 Large Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1.5 Cups Green Peas
  • 1-2 Tbs. Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut Milk or Heavy Cream
  • 2-4 Tbs. Butter

(We use Kerrygold butter as it is made from grass-fed & pastured* cattle in Ireland...Why wouldn't you use this butter in this dish?) 
*There are some people that are upset with Kerrygold because the cows are not pastured during the harshest of the winter months but this is about as good as it is going to get for me when it comes to butter. Unfortunately, it is not available everywhere but you can get Amazon to ship Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter to your front door!

Don't be afraid to experiment and add fresh veggies that are in-season.


  1. Heat a cast-iron pan to medium-low heat with a couple tablespoons of coconut oil and butter. Once the oils have reached a hot but not smoking temperature add and cook the peas, carrots, and onions. 
  2. Stir occasionally until the carrots and onions begin to cook through. 
  3. You will need to preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit at this point.
  4. Simultaneously, place a pot of water containing the chopped potatoes onto the stove to boil. These will eventually turn into our mashed potatoes.
  5. After the carrots and onions have begun to cook through you can add the ground beef to the pan! We used a cast iron pan for this meal because not only is it probably safer and has added healthy benefits but later on in this recipe we will be able to put it right into the oven! We seasoned the veggies and beef using salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Once the potatoes have been brought to a boil and they are easily pierced with a fork it is time to drain them. 
  7. Use a colander to drain them and then return them back to the pot for some quality mashing using a masher. You may use a power mixer if you wish but I feel it to be unnecessary if you cooked them long enough!
  8. As you mash the potatoes, add 2-3Tbs. of butter, the egg(s), and coconut milk or heavy cream. We also seasoned the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste. The eggs, butter, and cream help to add a rich and delicious flavor to the mashed potatoes. Additionally, these fats are full of nutrients and vitamins and they help to reduce the glycemic index/load of the starchy potatoes.  This is great news for people that are insulin-resistant or diabetic. 
  9. Continue to mix and mash the potatoes until they have a creamy and smooth yet fluffy consistency.
  10. Once the hamburger is all browned it is time to add your beef broth or optionally you could add other flavorings such as Worcestershire sauce, honey or perhaps even some barbeque sauce. I suggest checking these products to ensure they are free of high fructose corn syrup, seed or vegetable oils high in polyunsaturated fats(bad fat), and the various forms of gluten. You will want to cook in the spices and boil off any excess liquid at this point but there is no need to be picky because the mashed potato topping will absorb some of the excess moisture.
  11. The next step is to spread the mashed potatoes over the meat and vegetables. Classically, this is where a lot of cooks add a lot of flare to this dish when spreading the potatoes. Most times they will add waves or add peaks to mashed potatoes. This doesn't affect the taste and we were really hungry so we opted for non-fancy spread.  
  12. After this is done it is time to put the entire cast iron pan into the 400 degree stove. If you don't have or don't want to use a cast iron pan then you can place the meat and veggies into a glass baking dish and then top it with the potatoes.
  13. Take the pan out after around 30 minutes or once the potatoes are nice and browned. If the potatoes are not nice and brown after 25 or so minutes you can broil them for the last few minutes to get the color you desire but don't burn it!
  14. The next big step is to serve and enjoy. After that is done go back for seconds and maybe thirds. I know that I did. Additionally, a nice finish on the potatoes is to spread nice freshly shredded cheese on each serving and let it melt before eating. I hope you all enjoy it! Let us know how it tastes!

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  1. Where is the Shepard in the cow pasture?????