Wedding gifts are amazing.
A cast iron dutch oven is a prime example of why wedding gifts are amazing.
So, here’s a quick shout out to our friend Colin who purchased said item in honor of our nuptials! Putting it to use was simple enough. I set out to create a delicious Paleo-fied Shepherd’s Pie. Below are the fruits (or pie) of my labor.
This particular pie was topped with a kabocha squash mash, but you could use any squash (or yam) you have on hand.
Kabocha Shepherd’s Pie
1 1/2 lbs. grass-fed ground beef
1 c. diced eggplant
1/2 bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 shiitake mushrooms, diced
4 whole, peeled tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 onion, caramelized
1 large kabocha squash (about 3 cups of flesh)
- Preheat oven to 350
- Caramelize onions by slicing thin half moons and cooking on LOW heat for 20 mins or until onions are soft and brown (not brown and crispy). Stir occasionally
- Cut squash in half and take out the seeds. Place face down on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 mins. Done when skin gives easily when pressed.
- Let the squash cool and then scoop out flesh into a food processor.
- Add caramelized onions and some salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth and set aside.
- Lower oven temp to 300.
- In a cast iron dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat, saute onion, celery, and mushrooms for 2-3 min. Add beef.
- Stir until beef begins to brown.
- Add bell pepper, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and spices.
- Heat until beef is cooked through and vegetables are beginning to get soft.
- Spread topping over the top of the meat mixture in the dutch oven. If using a baking pan, transfer meat mixture to baking pan first, then spread the topping on the meat.
- Bake for 20 mins or until squash topping begins to brown.