What can I say – this was absolutely delicious!  It is The Shrinking Hubby’s new favourite meal and is a great one to make double and freeze half, or take to work for lunches the next day.  The flavours work really well here and make a refreshing change to the traditional shepherd’s pie.  The cauliflower and pumpkin crust is really yummy but you could definitely add your own touch with what you use here (think zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli etc).  Who said you needed a potato crust on a pie?  You wouldn’t even know!!

Greek-Inspired Shepherd’s Pie

With A Cauliflower and Pumpkin Crust

What you need:

For the Base:

  • 1 kilo lamb mince
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped (I used 2 tsp organic minced garlic)
  • 2 onions diced
  • 1 700 ml bottle passata (tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon homemade vegetable stock paste (I made mine in the Thermomix) (or you could use a good quality bouillion powder like Marigold, or  1/2 cup chicken or beef stock – but you may wish to use 1/2 cup less of the passata mixture if you don’t like your sauce too liquidy)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons choped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3 carrots peeled and finely diced
  • 2 zucchinis finely diced
  • sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Crust

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (chopped/broken into florets)
  • 1 cup diced butternut pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon organic grass fed butter or Ghee (optional)
  • a small handful of cheese (tasty, feta, parmesan) – optional

How to pull it together:

For the base

In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the onions, garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt (to stop the onions burning) and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Add the carrots and zucchini and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring frequently so that the onions don’t burn.  Add the lamb mince and cook until browned.  (about 5 minutes).  Add the tomatoes, stock, cinnamon, mint, parsely, salt and pepper and cook for 15-20 minutes or until reduced and thickened.  Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

Moussaka bubbling away on the stove

For the crust

Steam or boil the cauliflower and pumpkin until soft.  Drain if necessary.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and blitz in a food processor or with a hand held blender until smooth. You may need to add a bit of liquid to improve consistency (water, stock, milk – whatever you would prefer)

Thermomix version of crust

If making in a Thermomix cook the cauliflower and pumpkin for 20 minutes speed 1 at 100 degrees.  Make sure it is cooked through.  Add the butter or ghee.  Attach the butterfly attachment and blitz for 20-30 seconds speed 3-4.

To assemble, place the meat evenly along a deep baking tray.  Top with the mash and sprinkle with a tiny bit of grated tasty cheese, parmesan or feta (optional).  Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes until the crust is brown and bubbly.  Enjoy!

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