Cheap and Cheerful Paleo Shepherd’s Pie

shepherds pie

I’ve had a few people ask me about the cost of eating according to Paleo precepts, isn’t it horrendously expensive they query with all that meat and fancy protein powder?  Well, yes and no.  Yes, it probably is a bit more expensive than a traditional shopping basket, but no, it’s not horrendously expensive and when you sit down and think about your outgoings holistically it probably evens out to be about same, if not perhaps even a bit cheaper. 

This is the way it works for me.  We spend about $50 a week on meat at the butcher, then (excluding formula and nappies) about $100 the supermarket shop (this includes cleaning products), add to this approximately $20 at the markets on fruit and veg and then another $100 a month at IE Produce or on ‘specialty’ items, so all up around $195 a week, which is a little bit cringe worthy I know, however…

I no longer buy myself a take away coffee each day at $4+ a pop ($28 week), I also do not buy my lunch any more (roughly $70 a week), we don’t buy any alcohol (say around $25 a week) and we hardly ever get takeaways or go out for dinner any more (again around $25 a week).  So in actual fact we are now saving $148 a week or $592 a month.  Not too shabby aye? 

Plus it doesn’t have to be all expensive cuts either, some of the tastiest are the cheapest, I love a long, slow cooked stew, but even mince which can be almost literally a flash in the pan dinner is super cheap, 500g of steak mince from my butcher (Westmere butchers) will set me back about $5 and this is enough for dinner and then lunch the next day for the hubby bear and myself plus some nibbly bits for baby bear who joins us for dinner. 


1 teaspoon coconut oil

500g beef mince

1 onion, diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed and chopped

2 ribs of celery, finely, finely diced

1 carrot, grated

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 pottle of tomato paste

1 Cup of sliced button mushrooms

1 teaspoon of salt

1 bunch of kale or silverbeet, shredded

2 large kumara, peeled and diced

1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast, optional


In a large, heavy based pan (with lid) gently heat the coconut oil and add in the onion, garlic, celery and carrot and sauté until softened and fragrant.  Add the mince and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon to get rid of chunks. 

Pre-heat the grill to 180C. 

When the mince is well browned, add in the remaining ingredients, except the kumara, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for around half an hour with the lid partly on (longer and slower if you have the time to), you want the steam to be able to escape so the sauce reduces down and is not all watery.

In the meantime add the diced kumara to a pot and partially cover with water, put on the lid.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook until falling apart soft.  Pour off some of the water, only keeping enough to make a decent mash texture. Mash well, so there’s no lumps.  Spread the mash into the bottom of a casserole dish and pop under the grill to brown and crisp up.  Once the top is looking browned and crispy and delicious take out from under the grill.

To dish up, spoon some of the mince mixture onto the plate and top with some of the kumara mash and accompany with some steamed greens or salad, sprinkling over some of the nutritional yeast if you’re using.  Comforting and homely for a wintery evening 🙂

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