Shepherd's Pie is traditional English comfort food and something I've had to learn to make and love seeing that I'm married to an Englishman. If you swap out the ground lamb for ground beef, it's called Cottage Pie. Or if you swap in ground bison, like I did, you'll have Prairie Pie. What's primal about it? It's got a smooth, creamy cauliflower puree topping in place of mashed potatoes. Rob didn't even miss them!
Primal Prairie Pie
For the filling
oil for the pan
1 large onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 large carrots, diced
12 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 fat garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh herbs, minced (I used rosemary, thyme and oregano)
1 pound of ground bison
1/2 cup chicken stock or beef stock
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne
For the topping
1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
2 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper
For the topping topping
1/2 cup ground almonds toasted in a teaspoon of butter
Get the cauliflower florets steaming over simmering water. Steam until tender. Drain VERY well. Add butter, salt and pepper and mash with masher or puree it. Set aside.
Start the filling by heating a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add some good quality oil like olive or coconut. Saute the onions until they start to get soft then add the celery, carrots and mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Cook until the mushrooms release their juice and start to cook down. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the bison to the pan and cook until no longer pink. Add the fresh herbs, stock and the vinegar. Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer until the sauce starts to reduce.
Pour filling into 12x9 baking dish, top with cauliflower and sprinkle on toasted almonds.
Bake at 375 F for 30-40 minutes until it's piping hot and all bubbly around the edges. Devour!