Who doesn’t love a rich,warm and hearty baked dish when the weather is cold and wet? We have transformed one of our favorite “comfort foods,” the traditional Shepherd’s Pie (Bolognese sauce layered with rich mashed potatoes and baked until golden brown), to a lighter version! Switch out the mashed potatoes with an incredibly more-ish roasted garlic cauliflower purée and save calories. The cauliflower has the same consistency as mashed potatoes, without the added carbs, and the taste is rich, sweet and delicious! We are certain that this dish can fool anyone who hates anything vegetable-related!
For the sauce:
2 tbsp salted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
4 celery stalks, sliced (remove the ends and the leaves)
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 lbs ground beef
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp garlic salt
3 fresh basil leaves, diced
¾ cup of red wine
1 small can tomato paste
3 cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
For the topping:
2 heads Cauliflower
1 garlic bulb
2 tbsp salted butter
½ cup shredded cheese (we like an American blend, any mild white cheese)
¼ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese to garnish
Shredded basil to garnish
2. Cut the cauliflower heads into smallish chunks and steam until soft (about 15 mins).
3. Meanwhile, add the butter and onions to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Stir until the onions are just translucent, about 4 minutes.
4. Add the carrots and celery to the pan and cook until almost tender, about 8 minutes.
5. Add the smashed raw garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Do not let the garlic burn.
6. Add the ground beef to the pan and break up with your spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes until all of the beef is broken up and is almost cooked through.
7. Add the oregano, dried basil, fresh basil, and garlic salt to the pan.
8. Add the tomato paste to the meat and stir until the tomato paste fully coats the meat.
9. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
10. Add the wine into the pan. Stir to combine and cook until the wine and the tomato juice has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
11. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and allow to slowly simmer for about 15 minutes.
12. Meanwhile, remove your garlic from the oven.
13. Once steamed, add the cauliflower to a food processor (you will probably have to do this in 2 parts).
14. Add in the roasted garlic cloves, salted butter, the cheese, the milk, salt and pepper (Or whatever you normally put in your mashed potatoes).
15. Blend in the food processor until the cauliflower becomes a purée, but do not over blend (a little coarseness is nice when it bakes).
16. Taste your cauliflower purée, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
17. Pour your Bolognese sauce into a buttered baking dish or lasagna pan (13” by 9” is fine, but you can also do 2 smaller dishes if you want).
18. Spoon the cauliflower purée on top of the sauce, making sure to cover the entire pan.
19. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top, and a touch of salt and pepper.
20. Bake in the 375˚ oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
21. Top with shredded basil and enjoy!