Shepherd’s Pie – Italian Style
Serves: Serves 6-8
  1. Preheat your oven to 325F.
  2. Heat about 1 tablespoon of ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. Meanwhile, pat the meat real dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  3. When the pan is sizzling hot, add the blade roast and do not move it until it has formed a nice golden crust, which should take about 5 minutes. Flip the piece of meat and sear the other side until it too, forms a nice golden crust.
  4. Transfer the meat to a large 7 quart Dutch oven and place the orange, fresh thyme and star anise on top. Make sure to position the star anise in a way that you will allow you to easily spot it once the meat has cooked, as you will DEFINITELY want to remove it from there.
  5. Place the skillet back over the heat source and add the celery, onions, and garlic to it; cook the vegetables for one or two minutes, until they are slightly softened.
  6. Add chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper to the skillet and mix well, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go so all the good bits detach and add their flavor to the mix. Pour that liquid over the reserved meat.
  7. Add the tomatoes put the lid on and place that in the oven for about 3½ hours, or until the meat detaches very easily when pulled with a fork.
  8. When the meat is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it cool until you can safely handle it with your bare fingers.
  9. While that is happening, cut the Italian tomatoes into quarters and remove the seeds. Lay them on a baking sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper, drizzle them generously with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Bake in a 325F oven for 1½ hour.
  10. When your meat has cooled enough, remove the oranges, thyme and star anise from the Dutch oven. You can put the orange pulp back if you want, but make sure you leave the peel out. And make sure you got that star anise out of there.
  11. Remove the meat, tear it into bite size pieces with your fingers and place it at the bottom of a baking dish; discard the bones and fat.
  12. Transfer the cooking liquid to a food processor or blender, make sure there are no bones left (did you get that star anise out? You might want to check again!) and process until smooth.
  13. Pour that sauce over the meat, reserving about a cup to serve with the finished Shepherd’s Pie.
  14. Top with the cooked tomatoes.
  15. Place the rutabaga and cauliflower in a steaming basket, sprinkle with salt, cover and steam over a few cups of boiling water until fork tender.
  16. Transfer the veggies to the bowl of your food processor, add salt, pepper and ghee and process until desired consistency is achieved.
  17. Mound over the layer of tomatoes and delicately spread all the way to the edge of your dish.
  18. Increase oven temperature to 375F and bake the Shepherd’s Pie for about 25-30 minutes, or until the top turns slightly golden.
  19. Sprinkle with extra-virgin olive oil, fresh parsley and orange zest and serve with the reserved leftover sauce.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: NF based on 1 of 8 servings
Recipe by The Healthy Foodie at