Cottage pie (Paleo, AIP, low FODMAP, low histamine)
When I was a baby my Grandmother used to bring me miniature portions of her freshly cooked meals in little ramekin dishes. Everything was homemade and full of natural goodness, and my absolute favourite dish was her cottage pie.
Once the baby years were well and truly behind me I developed a taste for lazy cooking and microwaveable meals. Why spend the time slaving over a hot stove creating a cottage pie when you can microwave instant noodles?
The valuable lessons here are:
A. nutrition and its profound effect on your health.
B: Grandma is always right.
A cottage pie can be rich with nourishing ingredients to support your health. Better still, an AIP cottage pie can contribute to healing. Simply put, instant noodles will not.
I have experimented with a few AIP, low FODMAP cottage pie recipes, but this is by far my favourite and tastes closest to the real thing. The hardest part is omitting the tomato and potato, but with some clever substitutions you can re-create almost anything. This version has a rich sauce packed with flavour and nutrition. This one's for you grandma.
I have listed the ingredients below with a few cheat options if you are short on time. Otherwise, do the whole shebang; it’s really worth it. You can make this with beef for a scrummy, warming cottage pie or for an even richer dish you could create a shepherds pie by switching the beef for lamb.
Serves 4. Can be re-heated thoroughly or enjoyed cold.
For the filling:
450g Minced grass fed beef or lamb - Grass fed meat is rich in omega 3 acids, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, iron, Vitamin E and Vitamin A.
3 large carrots, diced into tiny cubes. Rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene
Half a swede, diced into tiny cubes. A cruciferous vegetable rich in antioxidants and cancer fighting compounds.
One whole onion or two leek tops (green parts only) for low FODMAP. Finely sliced. Being part of the same family, leeks offer many of the same health benefits as onions such as cancer fighting and heart protecting properties.
Cheat – grate the carrots, leeks and swede in a food processor for a finer texture
275ml bone broth or reserved cooking liquid (see below) Bone broth is anti-inflammatory and heals and seals a damaged gut.
Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt. Natural unprocessed salt should not be tarred with the same brush as table salt. Natural salt is packed with essential trace minerals.
One tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary. Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant.
One tablespoon chopped fresh thyme. An excellent source of vitamin C and fights infections.
One tablespoon chopped fresh sage. A rich source of fibre and minerals. Supports cognitive function.
One tablespoonAIP tangy salsa
Two tablespoons Garlic oil
One tablespoon of AIP friendly flour. I use tigernut flour, as it is one of very few flours that are both AIP and low FODMAP. Tigernuts are a rich source or iron, magnesium, potassium and many other minerals as well as being a good source of healthy fats.
For the topping:
One whole squash, halved and de-seeded. Coquina, acorn or queen squash for low FODMAP. Winter squash is packed with vitamin C and vitamin A, and is a great source of starchy carbs on an AIP diet.
One tablespoon coconut oil. Anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, great source of fats, all round good guy.
Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Optional additional topping: I use this to cut through the sweetness on the squash topping.
One whole courgette, grated. High in fibre and rich in antioxidants.
One leek top – green parts only. Very finely sliced.
Sea salt or pink Himalayan salt
Teaspoon of lemon juice
A food processor for cheat options
One large lidded frying or saucepan
One baking tray/casserole dish
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees or 180 for fan assisted. Place your halved squash cut side down on an oven tray and bake for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes your squash should be totally softened. Scoop out the flesh into a bowl, and add a tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Give this a good mash until smooth and leave to one side.
For the optional topping:
I add this to the top of my mash to cut through the sweetness of a coquina squash, it adds an extra flavour element but also helps to create a cooking liquid if you are not using broth.
Combine your courgette and leeks in a sieve over a bowl and sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and a teaspoon of lemon juice. Give these a good stir to combine and you will see the juices collect in the bowl. You can stir this intermittently and push the juices through the sieve. When you are ready to add liquid to your filling, use this topped up with water to make 275ml.
While your squash is cooking, heat two tablespoons of garlic oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add your sliced leeks/onion. Allow them to soften for 5-6 minutes before adding your cubed carrots and swede. Give these a good stir to ensure they are coated in the oil and let them soften over a low heat for 6 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add in your mince. Crank the heat up a little and brown the mince all over, breaking it up as it cooks. Once the mince is browned add your vegetable mix back in along with your chopped herbs. Add in a tablespoon of the tangy salsa puree and your AIP flour of choice. Give this a good stir so the flour starts to absorb the cooking juices. Gradually pour in your bone broth or reserved cooking liquid and throw in good pinch of salt. Stir everything thoroughly and turn the heat down to low. Put a lid on the pan and let it cook slowly for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, transfer your mince mix to an ovenproof casserole dish and spoon your squash mash evenly over the top. If you have used the additional leek and courgette mix, sprinkle this across the top. Place this in the oven for 25 minutes and serve with steamed green vegetables or a summer salad. This is a great one to make at the weekend and put half to one side as a ready-made dinner for the week.
This blog tells an ongoing story about me and my journey back to health and happiness. A boho soul always looking for my next European adventure. I am a Coeliac, Yogi, paleo advocate, dreamer, Bon jovi connoisseur, sun worshipper, snuggly jumper wearer and wife to my lovely Paulie.