Potato Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe

by Photahsiamirabel

Shepherd's Pie is a British staple and as Autumn draws in it is a comfort food. I am allergic to potatoes so it has been a forlorn dream. This shepherd's pie recipe changes that!

My Shepherd's Pie Recipe is a little unusual, after all, wasn't shepherd's pie the housewife's way of getting rid of leftover meat and mashed potatoes after Sunday? This shepherd's pie recipe is vegetarian (although it can be made with meat if preferred) and it has never even seen a potato. So is it really shepherd's pie? Well, I think it is as good if not even better!

Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Why no potatoes?

The story behind the pie...

In brief, having suffered from awful recurrent ulcers in my 20s, I read a book about how food and chemical allergies and intolerances work and discovered the cause of all the acute and dreadful pain was simply potatoes. I wrote about this elesewhere and I will give you a link so you can read more if interested.  

Since putting up that page, I have discovered that there are a lot of potato allergy sufferers out there. Symptoms can very from mild indigestion to anaphylactic reactions. Medical professionals' attitudes vary from sympathetic reassurances to indignant disbelief. People are looking for potato substitutes as I speak and I have discovered a few over the years. 

I get a little fed up with foodies, nurses and food manufacturers who persist in the belief that potatoes are safe. As far as I am concerned, so are nuts, strawberries, shellfish, gluten, milk.... Need I go on? If you have a potato allergy, I am going to share a few alternative recipes over time and if not, you might just enjoy trying these out anyway.

Sweet Potatoes....

A little miracle
Sweet Potatoes in the Pan
Sweet Potatoes in the Pan

The Amazing Sweet Potato

Key to my Potato Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe.

The sweet potato or yam is no relation at all to the regular potato, but it is a little miracle in its own right. It contains vitamins B6, vtamin C, vitamin D, iron, potassium, magnesium, is high in carotenoids and the complex sugars they contain are slow release to avoid problems with blood sugar swings. Now that in my book is a LOT more respectable than the common potato. These nutrients have been found to help in all manner of disease prevention, including the big three - heart disease, cancer and diabetes. I will give you a link to a great article later.

For now, believe me when I tell you sweet potatoes are good for you, but they are sweet right? So how can you use them in a savoury dish? They work because of the way I cook with herbs as seasoning. My shepherd's pie recipe is not particularly sweet but it is tasty!

Sweet Potato Mash...

Mashing the "Spuds"
Mashing the Spuds
Mashing the Spuds

Sheperd's Pie Recipe - Step I

Preparing the Mash

Peel and chop up two medium sized sweet potatoes. Place in a pan with enough water to cover, add about a teapoon of salt and a little fresh ground pepper, bring to the boil and cover and simmer until soft. When soft, drain off all the liquid, add a knob of butter and mash. You can be doing all the preparation of the mince while the potatoes are cooking of course!

Preparing the Mince

Vegetarian mince recipe
Veggies in the pan
Veggies in the pan
Veggies with water, rosemary, oregano and cumin
Veggies with water,...
Soya Mince Added
Soya Mince Added
Veggie Mince in a Pyrex Dish
Veggie Mince in a P...

Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Step 2

Preparing the mince....

I live with a strict vegetarian, so this is a vegetarian recipe. You could use minced meat if you prefer, but unless it is very lean you will need to reverse the steps here:

  1. Peel and dice 1 small carrot, 1 red onion, 1 stick of celery
  2. Put into a pan with a little oil or butter, a little salt and some cumin seeds.
  3. Saute until the onion and celery are transparent
  4. Add water and bring to the boil.
  5. Add a pinch of oregano and a little fresh rosemary simmer for a few minutes
  6. Add your dried soya mince and cook for a few minutes, then leave to stand and absorb liquid
  7. Put the mixture into the baking dish, adding a little more water if it seems too dry.

If using Quorn mince, add much less water

If using meat mince, add meat first, then drain off excess fat, use much less water

Some great kitchenware....

Handy Cookware for Shepherd's Pie...
Pyrex Bakeware 4.8 Quart Oblong Baking Dish, Clear

A kitchen staple for more than 80 years, Pyrex bakeware is as relevant today as it was in 1915. Made of a durable, high temperature material, Pyrex bakeware is classically beaut...

View on Amazon

Le Creuset Stoneware 1-1/4-Quart Rectangular Baker with Bonus 16-Ounce Rectangular Baker, Cherry

Le Creuset Stoneware Buy one and get the other one FREE Bonus Pack Promotion includes 10 1/2" x 7" Rectangular Baker with a FREE 7" x 5" Rectangular Baker, Cherry Red. Whether y...

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Le Creuset Cookware Set , 20 Piece

About Le Creuset CookwarePrized by international chefs, Le Creuset's porcelain-enameled cast iron pieces distribute and retain heat evenly to ensure consistent cooking and servi...

View on Amazon

OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler

OXO brings its new longer-lasting, longer-length, stainless steel blade to the favorite tool of European chefs. The OXO Good Grips i-Series Y Peeler has a non-slip, contoured gr...

View on Amazon

Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Masher

The Jamie Oliver Masher has a brushed stainless steel exterior with a soft-grip handle insert. It has an integrated silicone bowl scraper that removes everything that you mash -...

View on Amazon

Cuisinart CTG-00-BG Boxed Grater

To slice, grate or shred foods, the stainless Box Grater with its nonskid base does the job. Soft grips make food prep a pleasure.

View on Amazon

Shepherd's Pie Recipe....

Ready for the oven....
Shepherd's Pie in Dish
Shepherd's Pie in Dish

Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Step 3

Putting it all together...

When you add the sweet potato mash, add it in half spoonfuls over the whole dish to ensure an even spread. Don't rush this, or you will end up with an uneven and messy shepherd's pie. Once the top is covered in half spoonfuls of mash, spread lightly with a fork to get nice ridges.

Put the pie in a medium oven for about 35 minutes. Grate some cheese while it is cooking, and chop some white winter cabbage. Never mind that nouvelle stuff, we are going to be terribly British here!


Grated cheese on Shepherd's Pie...

Adding the final touch....
Top the shepherd's pie with grated cheese
Top the shepherd's pie with grated cheese

Potato Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe - Final Stages

Adding the cheese....

Purists might not want to add the grated cheese, but the pie does benefit from it, if does offset the slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes and produce something incredibubbly yummy! I added the cheese and gave the pie a further 15 minutes while I meanwhile cooked up the cabbage with a little water and a knob of goat's butter and heated some obviously disgusting tinned mushy peas. (I did say this is too, too terribly, British!)

This recipe SHOULD have served 4, but we got carried away and ate it all! No problem, it was a low fat and low carb meal! 

I owe special thanks here to a very dear friend of mine, Annie, who introduced me to an extremely  nice version of shepherd's pie using mashed cauliflower for anyone with carbohydrate intolerance. Again, this works very well indeed and is particularly tasty with lamb mince. Thank you Annie - I hope you will try and enjoy this recipe too.

Serving Shepherd's Pie the British Way

With cabbage and peas....
Potato Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe Plated
Potato Free Shepherd's Pie Recipe Plated

Shepherd's Pie - Ready to Eat!

Never mind the nouvelle cuisine - let's nosh!

Yes, my plating skills are a little rough at the edges, but I got really hungry making this. The two of us finished it in one sitting, so I can tell you it is delicious. Final word must go to Colin:

Me -     How do you think Potato Free Shepherd's Pie tastes?

Colin -  Ordinary shepherd's pie is a bit drier flavour than this. I thought it was smashing! It is much like shepherd's pie, but a bit creamier and sweeter. The sweet potatoes are nice and it is a dish in its own right.

Learn more about potato free living...

Links for Potato Allergy sufferers

Carrot and Coriander Soup
Wonderful, warming and potato free!

Leek and Sweet Potato Soup
A classic soup, remade for potato allergy sufferes...

Diabetes - Myths and Prevention
Discovering you are developing diabetes is not nice. The disorder is genetic and progressive so while lifestyle change WILL help, there is no cure. This page describes a personal journey...

Potato Allergy - the Cinderella Food Intolerance
The page I wrote that started all this - seems I am not as alone as I though.... Now I am off to enjoy a few strawberries and nuts...

Nine reasons to love sweet potatoes
A great page from Care 2 greenliving, this gives full details of how and why sweet potatoes are the best!

Updated: 09/28/2012, Photahsiamirabel
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Shepherd's Pie Recipe - will you try it?

JohnTannahill on 09/29/2012

I don't have any food allergies, except porridge and that's not really an allergy just a violent dislike. I did find this very appetising and I would certainly try it, possible with meat though. Good page!

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