Recipe: Amron's Shepherd's Pie

If you don’t have (or like) zucchini or carrots, sub in parsnips or broccoli — or other firm, fibrous veggies you have on hand. Amron also recommends using grass-fed or pastured meats and butter whenever possible. Read more about how this Portlander feeds her family in the November 2017 edition of PDX Parent. 

Serves 6



2 medium sized zucchini

2 large carrots

1 celery stalk, optional

5 tablespoons solid cooking fat*, divided

1 small yellow onion, chopped  

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

3 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 cups boiling water

1 cauliflower, cut into florets

½ cup butter

Optional: salt, dried chives/herbs, and smoked paprika for garnish

* Solid cooking fats Amron recommends for health purposes include refined coconut oil and avocado oil, and animal-based saturated fats such as grass-fed beef tallow, pastured pork lard, duck fat (delicious!), and chicken schmaltz.


  1. Prepare the veggies: mince the zucchini, carrots, celery and any other vegetables you’re using in a food processor to reach a texture similar to rice.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then melt 3 tablespoons solid cooking fat. Add chopped onion and minced veggies and saute about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent.
  3. Transfer veggies from the pan to a heat-safe dish, and set aside.
  4. Place skillet back over medium-high heat and melt 2 tablespoons solid cooking fat. Add the ground meats, 1 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste, and sauté until cooked through.
  5. Turn off heat, and return the cooked veggies to the pan. Mix well with the meat, season to your taste, and set aside.
  6. In a large soup pot, bring water and 2 teaspoons salt to boil. Add cauliflower florets, cover with a lid, and let boil for 7 to 10 minutes, until tender and soft when pressed with a fork.
  7. Drain well and transfer the cauliflower to a food processor. Add butter, salt, pepper, and blend until smooth, like whipped potatoes. (Unlike potatoes, there is no risk of over-blending.) Add ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, or  to taste. In a casserole dish, spread the meat-veggie mixture in an even layer on the bottom. Drop scoops of cauliflower evenly across the top. Stop here or spread to cover meat completely. Optional: sprinkle salt, dried chives and smoked paprika on the very top for garnish.
  8. No baking required, but, if desired, bake at 350˚ F until warm all the way through. It should take about 20-30 minutes.
Ali Wilkinson
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