Shepherd’s Pie is my go to meal when I don’t know what to make for dinner or have a lot of vegetables in the refrigerator that need to be used up. It’s easy to make, and is delicious with pretty much any vegetables you have on hand. I chose to use carrots, fennel, and leeks for this version, because they complement the lamb so well, but I often throw in zucchini, green beans, and yellow squash. It’s also a fantastic way to sneak more veggies into your family’s diet!
The topping is made from rutabaga and parsnips, which combined are super creamy and have an almost buttery flavor. I’ve had a lot of people ask how to tell the difference between a rutabaga and a turnip. And I know it can be confusing, I’ve even seen them mislabeled at whole foods! Rutabagas are usually larger, than turnips, oval in shape, and have yellow and purple coloring, while turnips are round, and commonly purple and white. Both are a great AIP alternative for potatoes, and are also low-fodmap. I like to combine mine with parsnips, when making mashed potatoes, for less of an earthy flavor.
Rutabagas are often underrated in my opinion. Probably because of their sometimes earthy flavor, or because people just don’t know how to prepare them. Don’t let that stop you from trying them though. Rutabagas are a rich source of nutrients such as magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants, which can fight cancer, diabetes, and reduce inflammation. So if you don’t already include them in your diet, they’re worth a try.
This Shepherd’s Pie is comforting, loaded with flavor, and a great way to introduce rutabaga into your diet.
Shepherd’s Pie with Garlic “Mashed Potatoes” (AIP, Paleo, Whole 30)
1 lb ground lamb
2 medium carrots
2 small leeks, washed and thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
Garlic Mashed “Potatoes”
2 medium parsnips, chopped into 1” pieces
1 medium rutabaga, chopped into 1” pieces
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400F°
- Add the lamb to a large frying pan, and cook over medium high heat until no longer pink.
- While the lamb is cooking, add the parsnips and rutabaga to a medium sauce pan, and boil until tender when pierced with a fork. About 13-15 minutes.
- When the lamb in browned, remove from heat and set aside in a bowl. Reserving the cooking fat in the pan.
- Add the olive oil, carrots, leeks, and fennel to the pan, sautéing until tender. About 8 minutes.
- Add the lamb back to the pan, along with the herbs and salt. Cooking for about 2 more minutes or until fragrant.
- Add the filling to a casserole dish and set aside.
- Strain the rutabaga and parsnips and add to a high speed blender along with the olive oil, salt, and garlic powder.
- Blend until creamy, scraping down the sides frequently.
- Spread the topping over the lamb mixture in the casserole dish, and bake at 400F° for 20 minutes. Or until brown on the edges. After 20 minutes, turn the oven to the broil setting, and allow to cook for 5-10 more minutes. Until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool before serving.
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