Wednesday, 2 April 2014


An essential recipe in any arsenal is the Shepherds Pie. It's one of those dishes that for me, like a good Chili Con Carne is a perfect comfort meal - just what you need when you've had a hard day of meetings in work!

 However - all that mash with it's cream and butter is not so good if your watching the waistline like me!

It's not a new idea - I've seen many variations of this but by swapping the mashed potatoes for some mashed vegetables you instantly knock so many calories off the dish that you get to tuck away to your hearts content without having to worry about crying on your scales later in the week!

I prefer using mashed carrot and swede on top of my pie - another perfect way of using leftovers from your Sunday lunch. I also have a little tip as well for adding that crunch that you would normally get from having cheesy mash on your pie. Want to know more? All is revealed below:

No Carb Shepherds Pie:

400g Minced Lamb (or a veggie alternative!)
2 Chopped Onions
2 Chopped Celery Stalks
2 Peeled and Chopped Carrots
400g Can of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Fresh Tomatoes (cut into quarters)
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
Veggie Stock
Splash of Red Wine (optional)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tsp Dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Paprika (optional)
Salt and Pepper to Season 
750g Mixed Carrots and Swede (chopped small-ish)
A Knob of Butter
Stuffing Mix!

  1. Get your oven to a nice toasty 220 degrees (200 fan) - Gas Mark 7
  2. Add your mince of choice to a pan along with your onions, celery and carrots and give it a good fry until the mince starts to brown, breaking up the mince as you go. For veggie mince, fry until your onions start to go soft (around 10 minutes)
  3. Throw in you trinity of tomatoes - tinned, fresh and tomatoes. Fry for about two minutes breaking up the fresh tomatoes as you go.
  4. Make around 400ml of stock according to instructions and pour on enough stock to cover to bring the level of liquid to around 1 fingertip above the mince and vegetables. Give the pan a quick mix.
  5. The wine is optional - pour in a big glug if you have any spare lying around (or open a new bottle and finish the rest off with your dinner - why not!)
  6. Throw in the Worcestershire sauce, Oregano and Bay Leaf. The Paprika again is option but I think it gives the sauce a nice smoky flavor.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and then bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for around 40 minutes (20 if using veggie mince)
  8. Whilst your sauce is simmering, chop up your carrot and swede. They need to weigh a combined 750g - do more carrot to swede or vice versa depending on your personal taste. 
  9. Chuck it all into a pan of salted boiling water until mashable - this shouldn't be longer that the 40 minutes the sauce will take. If your using veggie mince, I suggest you boil up the carrot/swede whilst preparing the sauce.
  10. Once it's mashtastic - drain and mash away! If your not watching your waist throw in a knob of butter too. Mash it to the texture you prefer - I like a few chunky bits in there!
  11. The sauce should now be done - if the mix is still watery then add a tbsp of cornflour at a time until you have a nice thick sauce.
  12. Transfer the mince and sauce to an ovenproof dish and chuck the carrot/swede mix on top. Then - my secret, sprinkle on some stuffing mix (your choice of flavor) on top of the mash. This adds a level of crunch a new layer of flavor to the pie!
  13. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the topping is nice crisp and brown.
  14. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

It's great on it's own - but I like to serve it with some simple fresh greens or cabbage!

This recipe is also fantastic for your leftovers - Use the inside of your tomatoes from my Salsa recipe instead of using the 2 fresh tomatoes. Also if you have left over Chili throw it in at the simmering of the sauce for a Mexican twist on your dish.

Of course if you don't like carrot and swede you can use other veg as a topping (or potatoes of course, it's not a crime!). Try grated Cauliflower boiled up and mashed or if your a fancy pants you can use a celeriac mash!

That's my no carb Shepherds pie! Perfect for the dieter missing their comfort classics!


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