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Sugarno’s Shepherd’s Pie

Posted by Solitary Dancer on October 24, 2006

SHEPHERD’S PIE WITH MUSHROOMS, SMOKED CHEDDAR, BACON, AND SOUR CREAM

Makes 9 servings

INGREDIENTS:

2 lb. ground beef
½  cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
¼  tsp. dried thyme or tsp. (2.5 ml) 
fresh thyme leaves (We used a different seasoning, your choice)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste 
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ lb. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 lb. cauliflower, trimmed (It was 4 cups of puree, you could do more)
2 cups shredded smoked cheddar cheese
¼  cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large egg
8 bacon slices, cooked until crisp and crumbled 
 Paprika (we used Penzey’s Smoked Spanish Paprika, yumm!)

DIRECTIONS:

To make the beef, place the beef in a large pot and cook over high heat, crumbling the meat with a spoon until it loses its raw, red color. Stir in the onion, celery, thyme, and tomato paste. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover tightly, turn the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a touch of water if the mixture looks too dry; it should look juicy but not wet.

  Heat the butter in a large frying pan over high heat until the foam subsides. Add mushrooms and cook briskly until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft. Add the mushrooms to the beef mixture and cook for 10 minutes longer.

  To make the cauliflower puree: Chop the cauliflower, including the core, into chunks. Place in a large pot and add enough water to cover the pieces by 1 inch (2.5 em). Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until extremely tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well. Transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Remove 1 cup of the puree and stir into the pot with the beef
To the remaining cauliflower in the food processor, add the cheese, sour cream, and butter; blend well. Add the egg and blend until smooth. Add the bacon and pulse once or twice to combine.

  Preheat the oven to 350°  (175°C).

Spread the beef mixture in a 9 X 9-inch deep baking dish. Cover with the cauliflower mixture and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the paprika or make criss-cross lines, dots, or whatever strikes your fancy. Place the baking dish on a large rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving. Effective carbohydrates: 6.7 g; Protein: 35.7 g  (I subtracted half the fiber)

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