Healthy Thai Shepherd’s Pie with Red Curry Beef, Coconut Kale and Pumpkin Mash
The beauty of this healthy shepherd's pie recipe? The pumpkin puree makes it fast! It's paleo and Whole30-friendly. If you omit the red curry paste, this recipe is also nightshade-free and autoimmune paleo. Regardless of both those dietary accolades, it's delicious AF. It's up to you what meat to use as your base. It tastes great with beef or lamb, but also turkey or chicken. Either way, it's also packed with kale! Instead of flour, coconut milk makes both the base and the topping super rich and creamy. Lastly, you can make this entire meal in advance, fulling assembled. But you can also make each element separately in advance and assemble/bake-off right before dinner.
Cook the cauliflower: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook until fork tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well and shake out excess moisture. Set aside (if you’re waiting on the beef, you can proceed with the topping in step 4).
Meanwhile, make the filling: in a large cast iron or ovenproof skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and shallots; sauté until translucent and beginning to brown, 4 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add the ground meat to the center. Brown over high heat, breaking apart with your spatula into bite-sized pieces, until cooked through and charred around the edges, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, red curry paste and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook for two more minutes, until fragrant. Carefully fold in the kale, and continue to cook the meat mixture until the greens are wilted. Remove the pan from the heat and add 3/4 cup coconut milk and 1 tablespoon lime juice, scrapping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan while cooking. Set the meat mixture aside.
Finish the topping: transfer the cooked cauliflower to a blender or large food processor with the Pacific Foods Organic Pumpkin Puree, remaining 1/4 coconut milk, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree the mixture until very smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.
Assemble the pie: using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula, make sure the meat mixture is spread evenly in the skillet. Scoop the cauliflower pumpkin mash on top and smooth with your spatula so the meat is mostly covered.
Bake the pie: preheat the broiler to high. Transfer the skillet to the broiler and cook until the meat is bubbling up the sides and the topping has begun to form a light crust, about 5 minutes.
Serve warm as a one-pan meal, or with a side salad.
If using a can of coconut milk, make sure to stir it well before measuring. Using an oven-proof skillet means less clean-up and transferring of recipe elements, but if you don’t have one, you can assemble the pie in a 13x9 baking dish.