Traditionally, shepherd’s pie was made the Greek way, with ground lamb. Over time, people began substituting other meats for the lamb, mostly ground beef or pork. I suppose that lamb, in some parts of the world, might be harder to come by. Where we live in Michigan, we don’t always find it in the grocery stores and when we do, it’s very expensive. On the homestead, we are planning to acquire a couple of lambs sometime in the spring. We hope to raise and breed them, mostly to sell some lambs and, more importantly, to raise meat for the family.
Another way that shepherd’s pie has morphed over time is that the traditional mashed potatoes have been found to be “carb heavy” and people are now substituting mashed cauliflower for the potatoes. I have seen where some people sub in mashed sweet potatoes or even butternut squash for the white potatoes.
My thoughts are that whatever suits your palate (or your gut) is what you should use. There is no right or wrong way to make your shepherd’s pie. My family is a blend of French and German ancestry. We were brought up to love pork and rich foods. My husband’s family is mostly British with some Native American thrown in.
Honestly, my husband loves anything but has a huge fondness for sweets. These days, he has found that he needs to lay off of carbohydrates quite a bit. One way we will do that with the shepherd’s pie is to replace the mashed potatoes with cauliflower. We won’t be using ground lamb, but will be using grass fed ground beef instead. Any peas that go into the dish will be my own homegrown frozen peas. They will be used sparingly and green beans, along with some carrots, will be thrown into the mix.
On another note, our third son turns 26 tomorrow. We let our children decide what to eat for their birthday suppers. Evan loves Sicilian Supper. We will have another pan of it ready for the hubby (and me) that replaces the egg noodles with zucchini noodles. Last summer I froze a LOT of them. So, here’s the week’s plan. Feel free to link your own menu plan in the comment section.
Roast Beef (in slow cooker)
Baked Potatoes (for those not on a low carb diet)
Roasted Carrots (with the beef in the slow cooker)
Cake and ice-cream for those who can have it
Vegetable Beef Soup
Pizza – pizza bowl without crust for hubby
Low-carb Shepherd’s Pie
Everyone on their own