A good ‘ol meat pie is one of Australia’s favourite dishes, and I certainly know (probably because I’m an Aussie) that I have a soft spot for a meat pie. As a teenager, I think I would eat one most days at school and my best friends would be able to verify this. There is nothing like eating a freshly baked meat pie from the local bakery, and yes I even love it as a cheeky late breakfast. I have even converted Matt, and when my parents come down to visit, we often ask them to pick our a tray of our favourite pies along the way.
I was pretty thrilled when Lizzy and I got to make her Shepherd’s Pie Pots for the book, as I hadn’t made a pie since I moved to Melbourne! Pie Pots are a great idea for when time is not on your side or you can’t be bothered fiddling with pastry. These little dishes are usually host Matt’s homemade French Onion Soup, but were also the perfect size for an individual pie.
Although Paleo is diary and gluten-free, once the pie is assembled in the pot, Lizzy bakes it under the grill for around 5 minutes, to crisp up the potato topping and add some of that much loved crunch to the dish.
Shepherd’s Pie Pots – from Paleo
Makes 4-6 pie pots
1 kg (2.2 Ib) grass-fed lamb mince2 medium carrots, peeled and diced1 brown onion, peeled and diced3 garlic cloves, crushed½ cup red wine½ teaspoon allspice2 cups beef stock4 tablespoons tomato paste1 teaspoon salt1 cinnamon quill2 bay leaves2 teaspoon arrowroot powder3 tablespoon ghee2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee over medium-high and sauté the onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the lamb mince and stir frequently until lightly browned on all sides (about 10 minutes). Add the carrot, stock, tomato paste, spices, salt and bay leaves. Mix well and reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
After 35 minutes, add 1 tablespoon ghee and tapioca flour. Mix through for a minute until slightly thickened. Cook for a further few minutes uncovered and turn the heat off.
Meanwhile, place sweet potato in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain well and mash with 1 tablespoons ghee and salt to taste.
Bring the oven to 200°C/390°F.
Spoon the lamb mixture into the bottom of small ovenproof ramekins, filling them about ¾ full. Spread the mash on top of the lamb to fill the dishes and scrape with a fork to rough up the top surface. Bake for 10-15 minutes, and then place under a hot grill for 5 minutes to toast the top of the potato.
Tip: If you don’t have small ramekins, use a large baking dish instead.