A Taste of Ireland: Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie Recipe (dairy-, grain-, and gluten-free)

Shepherd’s Pie brings to mind thick sweaters and cozy fireside dinners. Swirling snow and the faint sound of an Irish pub song.

There is no better way to celebrate winter than this healing, hearty meal filled with ingredients that feed your soul.

And, yes, it is definitely worth the effort.

Since my family’s transition to real and traditional foods, I have learned to embrace this heritage dish from my Irish roots in a whole new way. This is one meal that graces my table as 100% local, pastured, organic, seasonal, and nutrient-rich.

Sláinte. To your health.  

Shepherd’s Pie

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 lb ground lamb, preferably grass-fed, pastured, and local (can substitute ground beef of the same quality)
  • 2 cups homemade beef broth
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 large parsnip, diced
  • 3 celery stalks. thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder or grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1 T rosemary leaves, whole
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fat (healthy sources: coconut oil or pastured animal fat - chicken shmaltz, duck fat, beef tallow, lard)
  • unrefined salt to taste
  • ***
  • 3 cups veggie of choice (parsnips, cauliflower, taro, etc.), cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon fat as above, depending on taste
  • unrefined sea salt to taste


  1. Brown lamb in a dutch oven, or other oven-safe heavy bottom pot, over medium high heat.
  2. Dice vegetables and set aside.
  3. Boil 'topping' veggies in salted water until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
  4. Transfer browned meat to a bowl.
  5. Saute onions in fat for 5 minutes then add all other ingredients but arrowroot/gelatin and broth.
  6. Continue cooking until carrots are slightly softened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add browned lamb back to pot, cover with broth, and stir in gelatin.
  8. Preheat over to 425 degrees F.
  9. Test for salt and add more if necessary.
  10. Simmer until broth has reduced and thickened into a sauce.
  11. Drain potatoes and set aside in colander for 2-3 minutes to evaporate excess water.
  12. Run potatoes through a food mill or ricer to mash and remove all lumps.
  13. Add fat and salt to taste.
  14. Spread potatoes in an even layer over meat mixture.
  15. Bake uncovered in oven until potatoes begin to turn golden around the edges, about 20-25 minutes.


Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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