Thursday, March 20, 2014

BBQ Cottage Pie

So what's the difference between Shepherd's Pie and Cottage Pie? Well, traditionally Shepherd's pie is a savory pie made with ground lamb, peas, carrots, and onions and topped with mashed potatoes and baked. Basically, its like the original casserole. Cottage Pie is similar, but made with ground beef which is a little more common in the states. Both also usually have a little gravy that binds together the meat mixture, which usually contains a roux with flour and butter to help thicken it.



Mine isn't really like that at all. My Cottage Pie is on another level. I decided it needed to be more nutrient dense, so I added more vegetables, replaced the standard yucky grain fed beef with grass fed beef rich in CLA, and I made a sauce using homemade bone broth and a fruit sweetened BBQ sauce, with arrowroot starch as a thickener. I also got rid of the regular potatoes and the peas... there is nothing wrong with those per-se, but they are a little starchy, and to be honest I don't earn the starch every day since I don't train like my boss, Stacy. I'm not saying this is low-carb, or that I eat low-carb paleo -- I don't. I just don't eat dense carbs at every meal, or every day. Anyways....




Back to the recipe.... this makes enough for a large family to have for dinner served with a salad, OR for a couple like me and my husband, this makes enough for dinner tonight (with a few leftovers), and one to put in the freezer for another night.

BBQ Cottage Pie

Ingredients:

For the meat mixture:

1 1/2 pounds of ground grass fed beef
2 cups of diced carrots
1 large red onion, diced
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
3 large handfuls of raw baby spinach
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
5 cloves of garlic, minced
up to 1/3 cup of lard, avocado oil, or coconut oil for sautéing
salt and fresh ground pepper

For the BBQ Gravy:

3/4 cup of homemade bone broth/stock (or the BEST quality store bought you can find, free of sugar and MSG)
1/2 cup of Tessemae's BBQ Sauce (or your favorite brand, or homemade)
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
2 tablespoons of arrowroot starch
2 tablespoons of cold water

For the mashed cauliflower:

2 heads of cauliflower
6 tablespoons of grassfed butter or ghee (or lard for dairy free)
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
fresh ground pepper

To make the meat mixture:

1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Remove the cooked beef to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Leave the grease in the pan. (Don't be scared, that grease is full of CLA, an essential fatty acid that your body needs to stay slim! True story.)
2. Add the diced carrots to the grease and cook on medium heat until the carrots are starting to caramelize on the outside, seasoning with a pinch of salt as you go. This will take about ten minutes. You might need to add more fat to the pan if it gets too dry. This is what the lard is for.
3. Once the carrots have started to brown, remove them to that large bowl with the beef with your slotted spoon. Yep, you guessed it, leave any grease in the pan.
4. Next you are going to add the diced onions to the pan and let them soften for about 5 minutes, seasoning with a pinch of salt as you go. (add more lard if the pan is getting to dry, if not, keep going) After 5 minutes, add the sliced mushrooms, a pinch of salt, and cook for another 3-5 minutes (with the onions) until they are softened and cooked through and everything is starting to brown. At this point, add the smoked paprika and the minced garlic. Your kitchen will smell amazing in about 3 seconds. Cook for just a minute more, then add the three handfuls of baby spinach. Combine the onions, mushrooms, garlic and spinach just to combine and let the spinach just barely wilt - like 15 seconds. Add this to the big bowl with the ground beef and carrots.

To make the BBQ Gravy:

1. In the pan you just used, turn the heat to medium low and add the stock/broth. Bring it to a simmer and using a whisk, get up the brown bits of the bottom of the pan.
2. Add the barbeque sauce  and the smoked paprika and whisk to combine and bring up to a simmer.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and the arrowroot starch to make a slurry, then add that to the broth and barbeque sauce. Whisk quickly and the sauce with thicken within 5 seconds. Turn the heat off immediately.
4. Add the BBQ gravy to the meat mixture in the big bowl, and fold with a spatula to combine completely.

To make the Cauliflower Mash:

1. Cut the fluffy parts of the florets away from the hard stalks. For this recipe, you only need the fluffy parts. You can use the stalks for another recipe in salads or something if you want, or you can add it to your compost pale if you do that sort of thing. :)
2. In a medium pot, bring one inch of water to a boil.
3. Place the chopped, fluffy parts of the cauliflower in either a steamer or a mesh strainer, and place over the boiling water, then cover with a lid. Steam for 12 minutes exactly.
4. Place the steamed cauliflower fluffy parts in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients and process until completely smooth, scraping the sides once.

**You may have to do this in two batches. I did. Depends on how big your steamer is.

To assemble the pie:

1. Spoon the meat and veggie mixture into EITHER two pie dishes, OR a large casserole dish, if you are making one large, family sized portion. I divided mine between a pie dish, and a freezer safe 6-cup glass dish.
2. Spread the cauli-mash over the meat mixture and smooth the top.
3. To freeze - let cool completely uncovered in the fridge, then seal and freeze. When ready to bake, let the pie thaw completely, then proceed with the next step.
4. Bake in the oven at 350 for 30 minutes, then broil on high for 3-5 minutes to brown the top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.





I like to garnish mine with fresh green onions. They give it a great fresh herby taste, plus they look pretty!

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