Gluten Free Shepherds Pie, It’s easy to make Paleo and Whole30 too, perfect comfort food for your whole family!
Where does Shepherd’s Pie come from?
Shepherd’s Pie is a quintessentially British recipe that’s commonplace back home. I grew up eating it on a regular basis and it remains a firm favorite on many Gastro Pub menus for good reason!
It’s really easy to prepare, the ingredients are relatively inexpensive and it requires no great culinary expertise in order to make it, it’s perfect comfort food!
What is the difference between Cottage pie and Shepherd’s pie?
Any self respecting Brit knows that Cottage pie is made with ground beef, and Shepherd’s Pie is made with ground lamb or mutton. After all, Shepherd’s look after sheep so it makes sense that Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb.
There can be some regional variations in terms of the vegetables added, though they are usually very simple and include carrots, onions, and/or garden peas, and then the pie is topped with potatoes.
Back in the day Cottage Pie would sometimes be made with slices of potatoes on top, and Shepherd’s Pie would traditionally have mashed potatoes, but they are pretty much interchangeable these days and I think most people just add mashed potatoes to both.
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How to Make Gluten Free Shepherds Pie
My gluten free Shepherd’s Pie recipe is VERY easy to prepare. If you can’t find ground lamb, or you simply don’t like it then of course you can use ground beef and turn it into a Cottage Pie instead. The full recipe and directions are listed below, but here are some tips to get you started:
- I like to saute the onions and carrots first, it brings out the natural sweetness and just adds to the flavor.
- Browning the lamb also helps the flavor along, lamb can have quite a lot of fat so I skim some (but not all) of it off too.
- I let it all cook along with the beef stock for about 20 minutes, until the meat is a little more tender.
- While the meat is cooking I prepare the potatoes and boil them, ready for mashing.
- I sometimes add a little cornstarch mixture to the meat and sauce to thicken it up, you can omit this step if you are Paleo/W30, or use Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch.
- Lastly, I add the meat to my oven proof baking dish and carefully top with the mashed potatoes. I then bake in a hot oven for about 2-15 minutes until the top of the potatoes are nice and golden brown.
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- Oven Baked Italian Meatballs (Paleo, Whole30)
- Easy Shepherd’s Pie (Paleo and Whole30 Option)
- Chicken Piccata (Paleo, Whole30)
- Gluten Free Honey Sesame Chicken (Paleo)
- Carrot Raisin Pineapple Salad (Paleo, Whole30, Vegan option)
Gluten Free Shepherds Pie
An easy to cook recipe for delicious winter comfort food, Easy gluten free Shepherds Pie, can easily be paleo or Whole 30 too.
- 1 lb lean ground lamb, or beef 450g
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 large carrots medium dice
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp Gluten Free Worcestershire sauce omit for paleo/W30
- 2 cups gluten free beef stock 500ml
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 tbsp butter or vegan margarine for dairy-free, it's not paleo)
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch if not paleo
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese - optional
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
For Whole30 - omit the butter in the potatoes and do not add cheese, no Worcestershire sauce either.
For Paleo omit the Worcestershire sauce and add butter and cheese if that works for you.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion and carrots and gently saute for a 3 - 4 minutes.
Add the lamb or beef and brown over a medium heat, stirring all the time, spoon off excess fat if necessary.
Add the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce if using it, then fry for a couple more minutes. Add the beef stock, bring to a simmer, then cover pan and cook for about 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350F.
After 20 minutes uncover the pan and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.
While the meat is cooking, boil the peeled potatoes in slightly salted water for 10-15 minutes until soft, but not soggy. Drain, then mash together with the butter.
If after reducing the cooking liquid you think it's too runny to add to the baking dish you can add some arrowroot starch to thicken, cornstarch works too (it's gluten free) but of course that's not Paleo.
Add two tablespoons of arrowroot to a cup with a 3-4 tablespoons of cold water and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat and add half of the starch mixture to the meat, stirring to avoid lumps and give it a few minutes to thicken up, add more if you need to.
Put the cooked meat mixture into an ovenproof dish, cover with the mashed potatoes and spread out with a fork, add shredded cheese on top if you like.
Place dish on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 mins until the top is starting to colour and the meat gravy is starting to leak out around the edges.
You will need an 8x8 oven proof dish to bake this in.