I don’t know about you, but I love traditional Shepherd’s Pie. And with these cold, rainy fall days, I’ve been craving some comfort food. While I do try to avoid starches, I’m sure I’ll make my usual recipe sometime this winter (perhaps experimenting with replacing part of the potatoes with turnips). During the Whole Life Challenge, though, I needed to find a starch-free alternative.
Here it is. You’re welcome.
Sausage & Butternut Shepherd’s Pie
*2-1/2 to 3 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks, about 1″ or so (could sub sweet potato)
*Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
*5 Tbsp. grassfed butter or ghee (plus extra for sauteing, if needed)
*1 lb. bulk Italian sausage (WLC-legal sources)
*2-3 carrots, sliced
*1 medium onion, diced
*8 oz. shitake mushrooms, sliced
*3 cloves garlic, minced
*1 cup diced tomatoes
*1/2 cup stock (chicken or beef)
*1-1/2 to 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary, or 1-1/2 to 2 tsp. dried
*2 green onions, sliced (optional)
*4-5 slices leftover cooked bacon (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place squash chunks onto a baking pan (again, I love my stone for roasting veggies) and drizzle with olive oil (or other healthy fat of choice). Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and toss. Roast for about 25 minutes, tossing again about halfway through. (This is how long it takes in my oven. Remember that ovens vary. Always check with a fork; the squash should be quite tender.) You could also boil or steam the squash, but roasting provides a deeper flavor and more nutrient retention.
While squash is roasting, cook the sausage in a large skillet until just a bit pink. If necessary, add in additional fat (such as ghee) and then add in carrots, sauteing for just a minute. Add in onions and mushrooms and saute until veggies are tender (about 5 mins.). Add in garlic. After about two minutes, add a few shakes of fish sauce, tomatoes, stock and rosemary.
Bring just to boiling, and then reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens. Add sea salt to taste.
Meanwhile, remove squash from oven and increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Place squash chunks in a large bowl. Using a potato masher, blend squash with ghee (or butter) and salt.
When meat mixture has thickened to your desired consistency, place it in a casserole dish. Top with the mashed squash mixture. If using, break up leftover bacon pieces on top.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the leftover bacon crisps up. Garnish with sliced green onions, if using, and let set for a few minutes before serving.
The savory sausage and sweet butternut are really a nice compliment. Enjoy… and then enjoy again because the leftovers are even better!
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Yes, I really meant it when I said I'm craving comfort food! It doesn't get any more comfo...