Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Allergy Friendly Shepherd's Pie

Way back in March, for St Patrick's Day, I was suppose to make a corned beef. It was just something my family always had on that particular day of the year, & while we use to eat it a little more often in our own home, it was always on the menu on that particular day.

The problem is, that prepackaged corned beef here is also semi-pickled & the crazy pink sauce on the stuff has things in it some of us can't eat without getting pretty sick. Crazy, right? Well, I figured no big deal I'd pick up a piece of silverside & brine it myself. I had a few recipes flagged to try out & it seemed like a great idea.. you know, until I pulled up the recipe that morning & saw it said to let it brine for 15 hours at the least & up to 10 days.

I stood there for a minute debating what to do, we had company coming for dinner & everything! In a minor moment of genius I thought, "Now's as good a time as any to attempt a gluten free shepherd's pie." Did you know they normally have some form of gluten in them based on the typical recipe? It's been a long time since my gang has had Shepherd's Pie & they bemoan it all the time. My last attempt was pretty tasteless so I wasn't exactly rushing to try again, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

I do not remember where I stumbled upon the original recipe, but I edited it to fit our needs & supplies & this is what we ended up with:

Shepherd's Pie

Meet Layer:
500g beef mince
500g pork mince
2 medium onions, diced
2 T coconut oil
2 t Herbamere salt
1 t black pepper
3 T tomato paste
1.5 c chicken, plus 3 T
3 T arrowroot powder

Veggie Layer:
Mixed veggies of choice

Potato Layer:
Mashed potatoes

Heat the oil in the pan & sauté onion until soft; add beef & cook thoroughly. Add spices, tomato paste & the 1.5 c of broth & stir well. Combine the remaining 3T of broth with the 3T of arrowroot until smooth. Add to pan & stir to thicken. Place in the bottom of a casserole pan. Top with veggies & potatoes. Bake at 200 C for 40-60 minutes, or until the top is golden & the gravy layer is bubbly.

I've used whatever oil I happen to have on hand at the time ranging from coconut oil to rapeseed.

If I remember correctly the origional recipe called for straight beef mince, but at the time I had an excess of pork mince in the freezer for one reason or another so I split it 50/50.

We use homemade chicken broth most of the time, but on the rare occasion we don't have any I purchase a Paleo Bone Broth as it's the only one locally that is safe for our gang. It's crazy expensive too. Needless to say both work in the recipe without any issue.

Herbamere is available in our local grocery stores & health food stores. It's basically herbed salt. While I don't use it in everything it's great in recipes like this to add some extra flavour. We've only ever used the green bottle, original I believe it is, in this recipe

If you don't have a corn allergy you could use cornstarch in place of the arrowroot, unfortunately we have a pretty severe corn allergy to most corn products in our home. Thus our choice of thickeners.

The recipe above generally fills our luxuriously large green casserole pan, but I can't tell you what size it is. generally there's enough in it that I can make 3-4 mini pies as well for lunch the next day.. unless I go off to a double header hockey match & forget to set the oven to keep warm. In which case you'll have really burned the entire large pie & have to feed your family the small one. Either way, our family of four, including 2 teenage boys, manages to have enough for 1 full dinner meal & enough for lunch the following day including some in a thermos for Mr S most of the time. The photo above is one of the mini versions..

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