My husband loves casseroles, they speak to his childhood & are the ultimate comfort food. While we were dating, and I was practically vegan, I remember concocting a dairy free tuna noodle casserole for him. Oh lordy!
Today’s extra special shepherd’s pie was a request from my husband via text. His co-workers were talking of their favorite oven meals and Justin sent me a text protesting at the lack of casserole’s in our home. The reason we don’t eat many casseroles is that I’ve been on Whole30 or AIP for months now, so I usually have to cook our food separately. Oh well, time to appease the man 🙂
Ground turkey just happen to be on the menu tonight, I had sweet potatoes, celery, carrots & onion!
A little creativity and the usual sweet potato or cauliflower topped shepherds pie transformed in to a textural dream of a dish with exciting flavors.
I did a 60/40 mix of yuca & sweet potato, which gave the mash a viscosity & a crisp that was so very reminiscent of cheese! Other additions like hazelnut meal & bacon crumbles added to the crunch factor, while Great Lakes beef gelatin in the ground beef set in nicely for the thick mouth feel of gravy.
Super healthy, super delicious, super meal.
Enjoy the ooey gooey deliciousness that is this warm, comforting meal!
Yields serves 6-8
40 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 2 small sweet potatoes (1 1/2 cup diced)
- 4 large pieces peeled yuca,
- for this recipe I used peeled, raw frozen yuca (2 cups)
- 1/4 cup almond milk (sub coconut milk for AIP)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 lb organic ground turkey
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 large sweet onion
- 4 small carrots
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp Great Lakes Beef Gelatin (red can)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp sage
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp toasted coriander (optional, omit AIP)
- 5 slices bacon (sugar free, nightshade free)
- 3 tbsp ground hazelnuts (optional, omit AIP)
- 3 tbsp cooking fat
- sea salt, aprx 2 tbsp
- You'll need a large stock pot, large skillet, high speed blender & a medium sized casserole dish (oven safe).
- Heat oven to 350F
- In a large pot place sweet potatoes & yuca, add in 1 garlic clove, cover with water.
- Sprinkle some salt in the pot, cook on high, bring to a boil and cook until yuca and sweet potato are fork tender.
- In the meantime...Small dice your onion, 3 garlic cloves, celery & carrots.
- Measure out seasonings.
- Cut up 2 slices of bacon.
- In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp cooking fat (I used olive oil), reduce heat to medium-high, add in onion, carrot, celery & bay leaves.
- Cook, stirring often until translucent, aprx 8 minutes.
- Add in chopped bacon.
- Add in ground beef, breaking up with spatula, add in seasoning.
- Stir often, until meat in browned.
- Add in water, and beef gelatin, mix well and bring to a rapid boil, keep stirring until well incorporated.
- Taste for salt, adjust.
- Pour ground beef mix in to casserole dish.
- In the skillet, now cook 3 slices of bacon. Set aside. Save fat.
- By now, the root veggies should be done.
- Drain the water & carefully move them to a standing mixer. Use paddle attachment.
- Add in a pinch of salt, almond milk & a teaspoon bacon fat from skillet.
- Blend until smooth. You will need to use spatula to push it down a few times.
- Pour mash over ground turkey mix in long rows in casserole dish.
- Use a spatula to smooth it out.
- Chop bacon in to small bits.
- Sprinkle mash with ground hazelnut & crispy bacon bits.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350F.
- Then hit it with the broiler for 5-10 minutes.
- Let sit for a few minutes before serving.