This post was sponsored by Cholula® Hot Sauce.
It’s almost like clockwork.
As soon as the weather turns chilly, I start craving those warm, hearty comfort foods: the soups, the stews, the roasts. Pretty much anything that involves gravy.
Probably my favorite comfort of all time has to be Shepherd’s Pie. It’s tough to beat the combination of meat and potatoes baked together in a wonderful pie-like fashion.
But, as the title suggests, this recipe strays from traditional Shepherd’s Pie in a couple ways. For one, I use Cholula® Hot Sauce to flavor the ground meat. It’s a subtle twist, but one that has a huge impact on the flavor.
Second, I substitute mashed cauliflower instead of potato for the topping. It gives the dish an overall lighter feel (i.e. you won’t need to take an immediate nap after eating it). It also really allows the flavor of the meat to really shine.
Start by cutting the cauliflower into large florets. Steam (or boil) them until they are extremely tender.
Then, using a hand mixer or food processor, puree the cauliflower with some ghee, salt, and pepper until smooth.
Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add some diced onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Afterwards, add some minced garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Next add ground lamb and cook until it starts to brown. If you’re not a fan of lamb, you can always substitute with ground beef. Just note that you will be changing the recipe to Cottage Pie instead of Shepherd’s.
Finally, add in some tomato paste, thyme, parsley, beef stock, arrow root powder, salt, pepper, and–the secret ingredient–about a 1/4 cup of Cholula. It gives the meat mixture an incredible, but not overpowering, flavor. It’s the sort of thing that will have your guests wondering, “what’s in this?”
Let everything simmer for about 5 minutes or so until thickened.
Grease a casserole dish with a little ghee, then add the meat mixture. Spread the mashed cauliflower in an even layer on top.
Bake in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown.
Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving with more Cholula. Enjoy!
Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower
- 2 heads cauliflower cut into large florets
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 carrots diced
- 2 ribs celery diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1.5 pounds ground lamb or beef
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 cup Cholula Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon ghee divided
- 1 +1/2 teaspoon sea salt divided
- 3/4 teaspoon black pepper divided
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Pour a few inches of water into a large pot lined with a steamer basket and bring it to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets, cover, and steam until they are very tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Using a hand mixer or food processor, blend the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of ghee, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper until smooth.
Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of ghee in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the ground lamb or beef and cook until brown.
Stir in the tomato paste, Cholula, thyme, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Dissolve the arrowroot powder in the beef stock, then add to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a 3 quart casserole dish with the remaining teaspoon of ghee. Add in the meat mixture, then spread the mashed cauliflower in an even layer on top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the top turns golden brown.
Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with more Cholula.