Low Carb Shepherd's Pie

Serving Size  : 6
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  3             pounds  ground chuck
  1              large  onion -- chopped
  12            ounces  stout, preferably Guinness
  4               cups  beef stock
  1 1/2      teaspoons  ground allspice
  2        tablespoons  Worcestershire sauce
  2          teaspoons  salt -- divided
  2          teaspoons  pepper -- divided
  1           teaspoon  Thick 'n Thin NotStarch -- Optional
  2              heads  cauliflower
  8             ounces  cream cheese -- softened
  1              stick  butter -- softened
     1/3           cup  heavy cream

Brown the chuck thoroughly, crumbling in chunks.  Spoon the chuck into a
large sieve or colandar to drain thoroughly, leaving grease and drippings in

Heat beef grease/drippings to medium high heat and add chopped onion.  Saute
the onion until translucent but not browned.

Return beef to pan.  Add stout, beef stock, allspice and Worcestershire
sauce to pan.  Simmer uncovered until liquid is reduced to about half,
approximately 30 minutes.  Add 1 teaspoon pepper and salt to taste, if
desired.  Thicken with Thick 'n Thin NotStarch or other no-carb thickener,
if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While the beef mixture is simmering, make the fauxtatoes.  Cut the
cauliflower heads into chunks, discarding any leaves and the tough base of
the stem, although you can use most of the stem.  Run the cauliflower
through the shredder blade of the food processor and place in large bowl.

Microwave cauliflower until quite tender.  Times will vary with the
microwave; mine takes 20-25 minutes, depending on the size of the heads of
cauliflower and therefore quantity of shredded cauliflower.

Place shredded cauliflower in a large, fine-meshed sieve or colander.  Place
bowl bottom down on top of cauliflower and use the bowl to firmly press down
on the cauliflower, squeezing out liquid.  Stir the cauliflower with a fork
and repeat the squeezing process once more.

Take the shredder disc out of your food processor and replace it with
pureeing blade.  Add cream cheese, butter, and cream to the food processor
bowl, then the pressed cauliflower.  If you don't have a large food
processor, you may need to divide up the ingredients and do it in batches.
Puree the cauliflower until very smooth.  Stir in 1t pepper and salt to

Prepare a large, deep 9x13 baking dish (see note if you want to make a
smaller batch and keep the rest for later!!):  Spread the beef mixture in
the bottom of the pan, then spoon the cauliflower over the top evenly,
smoothing all the way to the edges.

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, until the top of the cauliflower is a light
golden brown.  Serve hot.

                                    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 949 Calories; 81g Fat (77.7% calories
from fat); 45g Protein; 7g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 271mg
Cholesterol; 2616mg Sodium.

NOTES : This sounds like a lot of work, but actually squeezing out the
cauliflower is the hardest part.  If you're like me and tend to keep cauli
'taters in the fridge, this dish is a breeze.

This dish is super versatile, can be made ahead easily, and keeps
wonderfully.  Just put the beef mixture and the cauliflower in separate
storage containers in the fridge and assemble before baking.  If you're
starting from refrigerator-temperature beef and fauxtatoes, bake for an
hour, and cover the pan for the first 20 minutes.  The baking time really
doesn't change with the size of the pan, so it's easy to make smaller
batches for a couple people, etc.

Other vegetables can be added to the beef mixture if you want a chunkier
pie.  I've seen turnips, green beans, mushrooms, etc.  Add the veggies just
before the simmer stage, or during the simmer stage, depending on how much
cooking the veggies require.

This is incredibly hearty.  You really don't need anything with it except a
salad.  At six servings, this is BIG servings, so reduce if you like!