Beef and Kidney Shepherds Pie – Paleo Style

The other day, I was craving red meat…  Really craving it.  I am a big believer in that when you really crave something it is your bodies way of telling you that it needs something…  In my case, I think it was that I needed something in that red meat – Iron possibly because I had just finished my period?

Anyway, I dug around in the freezer and came up with a pack of grass-fed ground beef and some beef kidney.  At that point, a beef and kidney pie sounded pretty good.

But beef and kidney pies need a pastry crust, and I didn’t want to make a paleo version of pastry (read I was too lazy to do it!).  Besides, it was the meat that I wanted, not the pastry…  so a shepherds pie sounded idea.  In place of the mashed potato that traditionally goes on top of a shepherds pie I used mashed rutabaga, although I guess mashed sweet potato or even mashed cauliflower would have worked as well.

And you know what?  This recipe satisfied my cravings perfectly.  It was rich, tasty and very, very filling.  I served this with a side of sauteed kale.

This recipe is an AIP stage 4 reintroduction because of the tomato paste.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.


Paleo Beef and Kidney Shepherds Pie

serves 6


  • 2 tbsp fat of your choice (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 sticks celery – chopped
  • 725g (aprox 25oz) grass-fed ground beef
  • 610g (aprox 21oz) beef kidney
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 cup red wine (optional – replace with more bone broth if not using)
  • 2-3 tbsp tomato paste (try to find one that only contains tomatoes)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme (chopped)
  • 2-3 sprigs oregano (chopped)
  • salt to taste

For the mashed rutabaga topping:

  • 1 large rutabaga (aprox 6 cups when peeled and chopped)
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • aprox 1/4 cup coconut milk/milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bunch snipped chives
  • salt to taste

First of all, you need to get the fat melted.  Add the onion, celery and garlic, and cook gently over a low heat to soften for 5 minutes.  While this is happening, you can trim the beef kidney of any fat or white parts (the tough gristly core) and cut it into bite-size pieces.  There is quite a lot of waste with beef kidneys, and rather than just throw away the gristly core and fat I fed it to the dog…  he didn’t seem to mind the fact that it was a little tough.

Once the veggies are tender, tip in the trimmed beef kidney and the ground beef and toss it around a little to start it browning.  Then add the broth, wine (if using), tomato paste, thyme, oregano and season well with salt.

Now you are going to let this simmer for at least 30 minutes, but really the longer you give it the better it becomes.  2-3 hours is not too much time!  Just make sure you stir it frequently to prevent it sticking and burning on the bottom.

Once your meat is cooked, get the rutabaga on to cook – I like to steam mine as it makes for a less soggy mash at the end, which means I can add more coconut milk and butter!  Simply steam it over a pan of boiling water until it is fork tender.  How long this takes will depend on how big or small you cut it…  my inch sized chunks took about 30 minutes.

Once the rutabaga is tender, I tipped it into the food processor and whizzed it up with all the topping ingredients except for the chives.  Add just enough coconut milk/milk to make it smooth and creamy without being too sloppy.

Stir in the chives.

Transfer the meat base to a baking dish and spread the rutabaga topping over the top.

Then brown in the oven (190°C/375°F) for 20-30 minutes.


Serve with a side of green veggies – we used sauteed kale.