Shepherd's Pie Twice Baked Potatoes

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I recently saw a Tip Hero video on Facebook, you know the ones -- quick little video snippets that show you how to make an awesome looking recipe!?

Anyways, this recipe was for Shepherd's Pie Potato Skins, and someone shared it in a Whole30 group I'm in and said "Anyone else think they could Whole30 this?" And I thought.... YEP!

So here's my Whole30 version!  A sloppy beef and gravy and veggie filling inside a potato shell, topped with mashed potatoes!  Due to multiple steps including baking potatoes, (i.e., a bit of a pain in the ass), I'd say they are more of a make-ahead or weekend type of meal!  I'm not about to tackle these on a Wednesday night.

If I'm being 100% honest, I think next time, I'll save the hassle and just serve the filling over mashed potatoes -- though I have to say, they would be impressive little guys to serve at a dinner party or something!  Since the recipe makes 8, I froze 4 of them for another time.

NOTE:  I had more filling than I needed to fill the 8 medium potatoes I had.  SO -- you could get 8 larger potatoes, OR up it to 10 or so medium potatoes.  You'll probably have leftover mashed potatoes too, so you can just make a meal out of the extras!


Shepherd's Pie Twice Baked Potatoes

[Whole30 - Paleo - Gluten Free - Grain Free - Dairy Free]

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Ingredients:

Potatoes:
8 medium russet potatoes (I used 8 and had extra filling, so you could do 10)
~6 Tbsp almond milk or coconut milk (more or less)
2 Tbsp ghee
1/2 - 1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Filling:
1 lb ground beef
1/2 sweet onion onion, finely chopped
8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped
8 oz  frozen green beans (2/3 of a 12oz bag)
8 oz frozen carrots (2/3 of a 12 oz bag)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp ground sage
2 cups beef broth
3 Tbsp tapioca flour (more or less)
2 Tbsp water (more or less)

 

Instructions:

Baking and Mashing the Potatoes

  1. First, bake the potatoes (you can do this step ahead of time).  Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  After scrubbing and drying the potatoes, pierce about 8 times with a fork, place on a foil lined baking sheet, spray with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for about an hour (flipping half way through), or until potatoes give some when squeezed.
    TIP:  To make this step MUCH faster, just microwave your potatoes!  Microwave on high for 5 minutes, flip over, and microwave for 5 min more.
  2. Cut the tops off of the baked potatoes and scoop out the flesh (into a bowl), leaving 1/4 of an inch or so intact with the skin.
    TIP:  Save the tops for snacks or breakfast!
  3. Now make the mashed potatoes.  Add ghee and half of the milk to the bowl with the potato flesh.  Season with salt and pepper.  Beat with a hand mixer (or mash with a hand masher) until the mashed potatoes are the consistency you like.  Add more milk as needed.

Making the Filling

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil and cook the onions and mushrooms for about 3 minutes.
    TIP:  I used my little Cuisinart chopper to finely chop up the mushrooms.  I like the flavor but not the texture!  They cooked down and you can't even tell they are in there!
  2. Add ground beef to skillet, breaking it up and browning it, and season with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme.  Add a few dashes of coconut aminos.
  3. Once beef is browned, add carrots and green beans to skillet.  Continue to cook for 3 minutes.
    TIP:  Since the carrots I bought were in big coins, I cooked them in the microwave for 4 minutes then chopped them up before adding to the skillet.  I added the green beans straight from the freezer.
  4. Add broth to skillet and bring to a boil.
  5. In a small bowl, make a slurry with 3 Tbsp tapioca flour and 2-3 Tbsp water.  Add half of the slurry to the skillet and stir to combine.  Continue to cook until the gravy has thickened.
    TIP:  It should only take a minute or two for the gravy to thicken.  Add more slurry to make it thicker.  I ended up using the full 3 Tbsp of tapioca flour.

Assembly and Baking

  1. Scoop meat mixture into the potatoes, then top with the mashed potatoes.
    TIP:  If you want to get fancy, put the potatoes into a piping bag and use that to pipe on the topping.  If not, just add a blob, fluff it / spread it out with a fork, and you're all set (which is what I did!).  You may have extra filling and mashed potatoes -- just save them for another meal!
  2. Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, then switch to "Broil" and bake for 5 minutes or until the potato topping is browned and crispy.
  3. DIG IN!
  4. If you want to eat half now and freeze half for later, once they cool, wrap in plastic wrap and store in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.  To reheat, allow them to thaw then microwave or reheat in oven.