The transition from winter into spring is here and we’re all anxious to celebrate! I think hunkering down with one last crazy cozy meal is just the way!
I spent my weekend with a trip to the farmer’s market, some time in the sunshine but also a lot of time indoors, hunkering down working on projects and things I needed to get done. This meal was an easy one pan throw together that I knew would last me several meals. It’s warm spices take this comfort food to the next level, but truly the mash takes it over the top.
Meat pies originated during the Middle Ages in England, Ireland and Scotland and it’s suspected that many peasant women would have come up with the idea by wanting to use up any leftover meat. Traditionally they would have used pastry dough to top the pies and it wasn’t until later when potatoes were discovered in the new worlds that the cottage and shepherd’s pies became a popular. Little did they know then what a staple potatoes would be to their country’s cuisine.
With the autoimmune protocol, potatoes are on the NO list because they are in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. These vegetables are known to disturb the gut lining and can often aggravate people with autoimmune conditions, causing flares and food intolerance. In fact it’s only recently that potatoes have been welcomed back into the Paleo and Whole30 sphere overall as a safe starch. Even though the mash on top of this shepherd’s pie is not potatoes, you won’t be disappointed.
Since I limit my starch intake anyways, the absence of potatoes has not been entirely difficult for me, but its so much better since I have come up with a savory alternative. Turnip roots are full of vitamins and minerals along with loads of Vitamin C, a powerful anti-oxidant. They have a very similar texture to potatoes when mashed, however, they are much lighter in texture. With a slight sweetness to them I even eat them raw and they have a similar bite as radishes do. In this mash I use turnips and cauliflower to get the flavor and the consistency. I’ve found before when I made a mash solely with cauliflower I didn’t love the flavor. I like cauliflower, but I did not love the mash.
By blending them together the taste completely transforms into something different, and the texture is light and fluffy just as a mash should be. The best part are the bubbly edges that crisp up as the mash becomes caramelized.
Since meat pies like this are known for being thrown together and truly a smorgasbord of ingredients I wanted to take care to pay homage in a way that highlighted and enhanced the flavors. With different types of meat, a plethora of vegetables this pie is not just leftovers and scraps.
I love these types of meals for feeding a bunch of people. This could easily feed 8-10 people for a St. Patrick’s Day or Easter Celebration. Everyone will want to be the first to dig in!
.5 lb ground grass-fed veal
.5 lb ground grass-fed beef
.5 lb ground lamb
4 large carrots chopped (about 1 cup )
1/2 fennel bulb chopped
4 stalks of celery
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon clove
1/2 cup broth
TURNIP & CAULIFLOWER MASH
3 medium turnips
1 small head cauliflower
1 tablespoon fat of choice (lard, coconut oil, olive oil, or ghee if properly reintroduced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. First prep all the vegetables. Peel and chop carrots, finely dice the onion, and chop the fennel and celery. Peel and cube the turnips and cut the cauliflower into florets and set them aside for later.
2. In a cast iron skillet (or skillet of choice) brown the onions on medium heat, once translucent add the carrots, fennel and celery. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes until the vegetables are all tender. Then remove the vegetables into a bowl and separate 1/2 cup for later use.
3. Add the meat to the skillet, all the spices and the apple cider vinegar to and begin to brown.
4. While the meat browns work on the mash. Fill a pot with about 1 inch water and place a steamer basket inside, then place the turnips and cauliflower on top of the basket. Cover the pot and steam on high for 20 minutes.
5. While the meat browns and the mash is cooking, take the 1/2 cup separated vegetables and add to a blender with the bone broth. ( I use a small single serving blender for this task, but a regular one will work as well). Once the meat has finished browning stir in the veggie puree and then add the rest of the vegetable back into the skillet and let it simmer on low while you finish the mash.
6. Once the turnips and cauliflower are done transfer them to a blender. Add the fat of your choice and salt and blend on high until desired consistency. (I like mine somewhere between smooth and chunky!)
7. Now turn off the stove and top the meat and vegetable mixture with the mash. If you are not using a cast iron skillet transfer meat and vegetables to a deep dish pie pan and then top with the mash.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 3 minutes to get mash golden brown. Make sure to watch it with the broiler, all ovens are different and there’s nothing worse than burnt pie!
gorgeous photos! and i love that you topped this with parsnips & cauliflower instead of sweet potatoes. i’m trying to limit my starches as well, and find that turnips & rutabagas although higher, are easier for me to digest. hope you’re having a great week. xo
Just wondering is there any other way of cooking the turnip and cauliflower and maintain the texture- if you don’t have a steamer basket? (I’m assuming this is to maintain the consistency you want for the mash)
There is a way. You can place the turnips and cauliflower in a pot like normal and add about an inch and a half of water. They should steam fine this way as well, the pieces on the bottom just may cook a little bit more. You could also just boil them, but the reason I don’t is because they get more mushy. They retain more liquid that way but either you do it make sure you drain them well! Hope that helps!
Wow! That looks great 🙂
I’m trying to add more organ meat into my diet. Do you think it would still taste good if I subbed the veal for beef heart??
Yes, this recipe would be perfect to add in some hidden offal because it has so many other flavors going on!! let me know how that goes Emma, that sounds wonderful! <3
Thank you for the recipe inspiration! I’m doing Whole 30 and needed bulk recipes to cook to eat throughout the week. This fit the bill perfectly! Instead of turnips, I used cauliflower and white sweet potato. The bubster- who is not on Whole 30 but will thankfully eat whatever is put in front of him – loves it too.
As a note for future readers who might be wondering how much this makes, this made a HUGE serving (for us, at least): I divided into 8ths, husband has been eating one full 8th per meal and I’m splitting them in half, so in all we are getting 12 meals out of this beast!
one last thing to the poster (or any reader) without a steamer – my trick-a-roo: take some aluminum foil and form it into a tube then shape into an “O” (circle) and place at the bottom of pot. Set a plate that is smaller than the inner circumference of your pot on top of the foil circle. Fill pot with water to just under edge off plate. place your food to steam on top of the plate. Voila, insta-steamer!
Oh I am SO glad Erin!! I love the white sweet potatoes too, so good 🙂 thanks for sharing and all your compliments. Happy you loved it.
Do you this would freeze/reheat well? I was thinking of splitting it into two and freezing half for future. Thanks in advance!
Oh yes it definitely will do well freezing Kristine! Hope you enjoy it <3
This was so good – I loved the cinnamon and clove – gave the pie a Moroccan twist. I used 1 large turnip, a head of cauliflower and a medium garnet yam for the mash – it was a great mix and a beautiful color that suited the dish. THis recipe is a keeper. I froze leftovers to take to lunch.
Lissa I am so glad you loved it, it is definitely one of my favorites! Your mash sounds so yummy too! Such a great idea for leftovers 🙂
I’m so excited about this! Mine is in the oven now and smells so yummy. I plan to freeze leftovers in single servings also for easy meals. Thank you for this recipe! I enjoyed your stuffed pumpkin for Thanksgiving this year. I was impressed!
How exciting! I am so happy to hear you loved the pumpkin stuffing! This meal is one of my favorites and as you said perfect for freezing leftovers!
I don’t usually post, but thanks a lot for this recipe. i TOOK IT AS A BLUEPRINT AND ADAPTED IT TO MY NEEDS (turmeric – rutabaga+turnip – etc.) So yummyyyy and no bloated tummy !
Ah that’s so amazing!! Thank you so much for commenting and sharing with me, that means so much!
Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and it was fantastic. Veal was too expensive at Whole foods so I used bison and beef. otherwise it was exactly as written.
So happy to hear you loved it Tina!! And I do that often too, sometimes I’ll use extra beef or lamb or another meat of veal isn’t possible. 🙂 thank you for commenting and sharing with me!