RECIPE: Healthy Cast-Iron Shepard’s Pie

Did you know Saint Patrick’s Day is also known as “The Feast of Saint Patrick”?  This was originally due to restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol being lifted for the day, encouraging  the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.. and also amazing food!  Along with wearing green, sporting shamrocks and consuming green beer, here is one of our favorite Irish foodie traditions, slightly tweaked!


  • 1 ½ pounds thin-skinned potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch chunks (about 3 medium)
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, preferably 93% lean grass fed
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon paprika, plus more for garnish
  • ½ teaspoon dry thyme
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce or Tamari
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 4 ounces shredded Swiss cheese, about 1 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook until the potatoes are tender and a knife or fork can easily slip in and out when they are probed, 13 to 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and return to the saucepan. Add buttermilk, butter, pepper and ¼ teaspoon salt and mash until smooth. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add beef and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned, and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, onion, carrot, celery and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables are just starting to soften and brown slightly, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add paprika and thyme and stir to coat. Add red wine and tomato paste and bring to a simmer stirring until the tomato paste is incorporated into the mixture and the wine is almost evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 cup broth and bring to a boil, stirring often.
  5. Stir the remaining ½ cup broth with Worcestershire sauce or tamari and cornstarch and then stir into the simmering beef mixture. Cook, stirring until the sauce is thickened and reduced slightly, about 3 to 6 minutes. Stir in corn and remove from the heat.
  6. Spread the mashed potatoes over the beef mixture, top with Swiss cheese and sprinkle with additional paprika if desired. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the beef and sauce are bubbling along the edges, 15 minutes.

A big thanks to Katie at Healthy Seasonal Recipes for the awesome inspiration. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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