Sunday, February 22, 2015

Shepherd's Pie (AIP, Paleo)

We all have that one comfort food that reminds them of their childhood and just brings you back home. For me it's, without a doubt, Shepherd's Pie. Growing up, I could eat it every day, all day, all the time. Each year for our birthday, my mom would make us a meal of our choice, and I can positively say, this was always my pick. Then after dinner, I would pass through the kitchen and sneak a bite more of it until it was put away in the fridge.

I have tried on numerous occasions to replicate my mom's famous dish with no avail. Even prior to becoming paleo, I still couldn't get it right. Then one magical night, on a cold Wednesday evening, I finally figured it out. The recipe is inspired by Hold The Grain's Individual Shepherd's Pie recipe with some AIP tweaks as well as a few spice tweaks from my mom's recipe. What I love so much about Tess's recipe is that instead of mashed cauliflower or sweet potatoes in lieu of mashed potatoes, she introduces the idea of mashed acorn squash. GENIUS! It is exactly the perfect topping to take me home!

Shepherd's Pie


  • 2 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoons of avocado oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb of grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of water


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash in half and bake for about 40 mins or until you can press shell with your finger. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, on medium heat avocado oil. Cook ground beef until browned then remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Return pan to stove top and add onion, celery, and carrots and cook for about 4-5 mins. 
  4. Add garlic, beef, salt, thyme, marjoram, cloves, and bay leaves to the pan with veggies. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour bone broth over the mix.
  6. In a small bowl whisk together arrowroot flour and water.
  7. Add arrowroot flour to pan and stir until sauce begins to thicken (about a minute). Remove from stove and pour mix into 2.5 quart casserole dish.
  8. By now your squash should be ready. You will want it to sit out for about 10-15 mins to cool down so you can handle it.
  9. Peel skin off of squash and place the good stuff in a large bowl. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency.
  10. Pile mash on top of meat mixture and spread out evenly.
  11. Bake dish for 40-45 mins or until edges start to brown.
  12. Enjoy and try not to eat it all in one sitting.

Featured on AIP Recipe Roundtable


  1. I've made this three times now. It is great! I love the spice blend and the sweetness of the acorn squash with it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yay! That is fantastic Laura. I am so happy to hear you enjoy it so much. Thank you so much for your comment. - Alex

  2. THIS IS SO DELICIOUS!!!! I made it tonight with sweet potatoes on the top and ground bison. OMG! It's true, I wanted to eat the entire thing myself! Thank you for a great recipe!

  3. THIS IS SO DELICIOUS!!!! I made it tonight with sweet potatoes on the top and ground bison. OMG! It's true, I wanted to eat the entire thing myself! Thank you for a great recipe!

  4. My daughter made this for me (with butternut squash on top) for a special dinner. It was sooooo good!!

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