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Shepherd's Pie: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Yeast Free

11:58 PM

So, what's this about snow already? Last time I checked it's still October. It's fine, though—we've started filling our Winter bellies with wholesome, hearty goodness. It's definitely the season of potatoes and stews, squashes and root veggies. This week, we made one of my absolute childhood favorites, shepherd's pie.

We freaking love Cook's Illustrated. Appropriately, the latest issue is "Comfort Food Favorites" and guess what recipe is featured—yep, shepherd's pie. They have three tips for a shepherd's pie makeover: use ground beef instead of stew meat because it cooks in less than half the time, brown your veggies and not your meat to keep your meat tender and to create a rich and caramelized base, lighten the mashed potatoes by using less butter and milk instead of half-and-half. Also, don't use ground beef fattier than 93% or else it will get greasy—since you aren't browning it, you won't have a chance to pour off the grease so you'll need meat that won't ooze it when cooked.


1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (no fattier than 93%)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
chipotle pepper
2 1/2 lbs. potatoes (we used yukon gold, but red potatoes would also be yummy)
4 tbsp. butter alternative (we used Earth Balance Soy Free)
1/2 cup milk alternative (we used unsweetened coconut)
1 tbsp. mayonnaise alternative (we used Earth Balance Mindful Mayo)
2 tsp. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
8 oz. carrots, chopped
6 oz. celery, chopped
1 tbsp. sriracha
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp. marsala wine
2 tbsp. gluten free all-purpose baking flour (we used Gluten Free Mama's)
1 1/4 cup beef stock (watch out for yeast here, if you're allergic!)
2 tsp. worchestershire sauce or Bragg's coconut aminos
1 tsp. thyme
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. arrowroot powder

1. Prep Your Beef
Toss your beef with 2 tbsp. water, 1 tsp. salt, baking soda and 1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper. Set it aside at room temperature for 20 minutes so that the flavors come together and the baking soda activates. Note: According to Cook's Illustrated, baking soda tenderizes the meat by raising the pH. Woah!

2. Prep Your Potatoes
Cut your potatoes into 1 inch chunks and place them in a saucepan. Add enough water to just cover them and sprinkle in 1 tbsp. of salt. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to medium and allow it to simmer until the potatoes are soft (around 8–10 minutes). Once they're soft, drain them and then return them to the saucepan—put it back onto the hot burner, but keep the burner turned off. Stir in your butter and mash your potatoes.

3. Make Your Potatoes
Whip together your milk alternative and mayo alternative and stir the mixture into your potatoes. Season them to taste with salt and pepper (we added about a tsp. of borsari salt). Cover the pan and set it aside.

4. Make Your Filling
Heat your canola oil over medium heat and add in your mire poix (onions, celery and carrots). Cook them, stirring occasionally until they soften (about 4–6 minutes). Stir in your sriracha and your garlic, then cook for another two minutes. Add in your wine and stir the mixture for one minute while the liquid evaporated. Stir in your flour and cook for one more minute. Add your broth, worchestershire, thyme and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce your heat to medium-low.

5. Add Your Beef
Add your beef in 2-inch chunks and bring the whole mixture to a gentle simmer. Cover your pan and cook for 10–12 minutes or until your beef has cooked through. About half way through this cook time, you'll want to stir the mixture and use a fork to break up your beef chunks.

6. Thicken + Finish
In a small bowl, whisk together your arrowroot powder and 2 tsp. of water. Stir this mixture into your beef filling and continue to simmer the mixture for 30 seconds. Remove your bay leaf and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

7. Broil
Adjust your oven rack to be five inches from the broiler element and heat your broiler. Pour your filling into a 13x9 glass pan, then spoon the potatoes evenly over your filling. Make sure the entire surface is covered. Use the back of the spoon to smooth your potatoes (and if you're feeling fancy, use the tines of a fork to make ridges). Broil until your potatoes are golden brown and your filling is bubbly, about 10–15 minutes.

8. Cool + Serve
Allow it to cool for ten minutes before serving so that it cam come together and you don't burn your mouth in excitement!

Oh by the way, this makes awesome leftovers. The flavors come together and it's mindblowing.

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