Low-Carb Shepherd’s Pie with Cauliflower Mash

Shepherd’s pie is a satisfying British casserole traditionally made with ground lamb and topped with mashed potatoes. This updated version features milder-tasting ground kudu with a crown of mashed cauliflower for a lighter take on the wintery comfort food. Lean ground beef, ostrich or dark meat turkey can be substituted for the kudu. I tried it with ground ostrich and it was a great success with all in the household.


For the topping

1 large (680 grams) head cauliflower, cut into 5cm florets
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) sea salt

For the filling

453 grams ground kudu
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon (15 ml) tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon (3.75 ml) dried thyme
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
Black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) Parmesan cheese, finely shredded


For the topping

  1. Steam the cauliflower over boiling water until very tender, 10–12 minutes.
  2. Drain and place in a food processor. Add the olive oil, nutmeg and salt, and process until smooth. Set aside.

For the filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook, breaking up meat with a spatula, until browned, 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  3. Return the sauté pan to medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and thyme and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook until it begins to brown, 1 minute.
  5. Add the broth and meat and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3 minutes.
  6. Season with pepper to taste.
  7. Remove the pan from heat. Gently spoon the cauliflower over the meat mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until bubbly around the edges, 20 minutes.
  9. Switch on the broiler and broil until the topping is lightly browned (2 minutes), if desired.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories: 375; Total Fat: 17.4g; Saturated Fat: 5.5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 8.7g; Cholesterol: 98mg; Sodium: 716mg; Carbohydrate: 22.7g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 10.1g; Protein: 33.5g

About the author: Brian Kitching
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