Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Crust

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Shepherd's Pie with Cauliflower Crust - Holistic Squid

Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate home-cooked comfort food – savory lamb or beef and veggies in a rich gravy, topped with buttery mash. I like to make mine with cauliflower crust, simply because I prefer it to potatoes, but you could easily swap it out for classic mashed potatoes or get all-kinds-of-crazy with parsnips, yams or other root veggies.

Another great thing about shepherd’s pie is it makes a great hiding place for nutrient-dense liver. (Learn why liver is so great here.) I puree my liver in the food processor or blender, and simply saute it with the ground meat. On your plate and in your mouth, you’ll forget all about it as you enjoy your delicious dinner.

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Crust Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups butter from grass fed cows, divided
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 pound ground lamb (or beef), pasture-raised
  • 1/4 pound liver, pureed (optional)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 3 T. sprouted wheat flour
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 T. chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Crust Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. In a large saucepan, cover the cauliflower florets with filtered water and boil until tender. Drain and transfer to a food processor with 3 T. butter. Process until cauliflower is smooth. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
  3. Heat the beef broth in a small saucepan until hot.
  4. Sauté the onions and carrots with 3 T. butter until they begin to soften. Add the ground meat and optional liver to brown, breaking meat apart into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
  5. Sprinkle in sprouted wheat flour, then slowly stir in the hot beef broth and cook until the liquid thickens into a gravy (this is called a ‘roux’).
  6. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Transfer the meat mixture into a shallow 2-quart casserole dish.
  8. Spoon the cauliflower mash over the meat and spread evenly. Use a fork to gently score the top of the mash for decorative texture.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

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  1. says

    This sounds soooo good. I remember living in London for a year in my youth in a boarding place. We had Shepherd’s Pie regularly and it was a treat! I am now cooking for 1, does it freeze well?

  2. jmr says

    I made this a couple weeks ago when it was included in your weekly meal plan. I added mushrooms to it, and used a little sweet rice flour instead of wheat flour for the roux. I made one to eat and another to freeze. It was delicious. Thank you.

  3. Jen says

    I made this 2 nights ago. Thank you!! It was such a huge hit. We all felt very satiated It was a dish from my childhood so I was so comforted by it.

  4. A.J. Dove says

    I don’t eat meat, so can I do this with lentils? If so, what would I delete or add to this recipe if using lentils? Thank you!

    • says

      Hi A.J. Thanks for your question. I have no idea. That sounds like a completely different recipe. 😉 If you do try it out, please let us know how it turns out!

  5. Alyssa says

    Hi! I’ve made your Fennel Au Gratin and Chicken Pot Pie with great success!! They both made HUGE portions too, which is a good thing! But I have a question about liver. I just purchased chicken liver from a farm – their chickens are free range but their meat is not certified organic. So I was planning to make either this or your meatballs with the liver…then I spoke with my Mom who said that liver, if it isn’t organic, is most likely NOT good for you because it is the organ that flushes out the body’s toxins. Is this the case? Must liver be organic or nothing?

  6. Rachel K says

    I don’t have a 2-qt. casserole dish. How does it compare to a 9×13 pan? Should I double this recipe for a 9×13 pan?

  7. ShojoBakunyu says

    “(this is called a ‘roux’)”?

    Wrong. That is the old school way of making a lumpy gravey. A roux is flour cooked in fat to coat the flour granuals in oil to prevent any dry flour from being coated in hot liquid and coagulating and preventing liquid from reaching the interior of the clump.

    The longer you cook the flour, the more you damage the proteins and refuse the thickening ability of the flour. A light roux will thicken far more liquid but have less flavor than a darker roux that will add a nutty complexity to the dish.

    Adding flour and broth to cooking meat and veg is as far from a roux you can get and still make a thickened sauce.

    • Jillian says

      That’s actually EXACTLY what a roux is- are you here to criticize? If you’re a professional, what do you need a page with recipes like this for?

        • Lauren says

          It’s sort of an “order of events” difference, I think. To have a roux, properly speaking, you would saute your flour and fat together separately before adding it to your liquid. It does produce more even results. And there is a magical point you’re waiting for when sauteing your roux where it starts to smell like freshly baking bread. :) Pretty delicious.

          Personally, most of the time I skip steps and just mix some flour and a little of my fatty liquid in a separate bowl so I can whisk out the lumps, then pour that into the broth without bothering to cook it separately first. It is way more convenient than going through the whole saute process and still has the lump-avoiding benefits. I think it isn’t actually a proper roux at that point, but it definitely gets the job done.

          • Lauren says

            All that said, whatever the method for thickening your broth, here, this recipe sounds absolutely delicious.

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