For a meaty main dish or a twist on a traditional appetizer, try these flavorful Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie Twice Baked Potatoes.
Okay, I get that Mondays are supposed to be meatless and all, and it has been thus far, but man, I am HUNGRY today!!! Like really hungry. And nothing sounds better than a hearty meaty main dish for dinner tonight.
I don’t know what my deal is. It’s just been an ordinary Monday. I ran this morning, went to a workout group, taught preschool, and came home so famished that I swear I could have eaten an entire roasted pig. Hey, we’re in Hawaii. I gotta use culturally applicable exaggerations over here.
But since there were no pigs on hand, I opted for gorging myself with asparagus, carrots, papaya, and leftover MEATLESS enchiladas. Basically I ate whatever I could find in the fridge as fast as I could find it. Oh, and then I followed that up with two suckers. Not just any two suckers, but the last two suckers out of Braelyn’s Valentine’s candy bag. How terrible am I?!
As lovely as the leftovers were, or at least from what I could taste of them the few seconds they were in my mouth, all I could think about when I was done eating was what to make for dinner. How backwards is that??? Thinking of your next meal as you’re finishing your current meal. I guess it’s not that odd since I pretty much think about food all day every day.
But anyway, the first thought that came to mind was these Gluten Free Sheppard’s Pie Twice Baked Potatoes that I made a few weeks ago.
Now it’s not like I grew up on Shepherd’s pie or anything. In fact, my mom may have only made it once in my life. But, at least I’ve had it, and I’m pretty sure most people have tasted it once or twice.
Not Ben. He said he’s NEVER had Shepherd’s pie ever in his entire almost 35 years of age. What?! That’s so not American of him…although I’m pretty sure Shepherd’s pie is not even an American dish. I want to say it originated in Scotland. Whatever. Fact remains, he is uncultured in the arena of Shepherd’s pie.
Basically Shepherd’s pie (aka: cottage pie) is a saucy mixture of beef and vegetables topped with a crust of mashed potatoes and cheese. Truly a man’s idea of the perfect meal: meat and potatoes.
But instead of throwing it all together in one big casserole dish, how about portioning it out into individual sized loaded potato skins??? Who doesn’t love a good old twice baked potato?!
The combination of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste in the filling gives the meat mixture a deep, rich, and tangy flavor that pairs nicely with the smooth, subtle flavor of the mashed potatoes. And then topped with extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese, these potatoes are literally “loaded” with, you guessed it, FLAVOR!
I love that these potatoes can be made a few days in advance if you are preparing for a busy week. When I made these the first time, I baked a few of them immediately for dinner, and then saved the majority for a church potluck two days later. It was nice to be able to come home from church, stick them in the oven, and not have to make a mess of my kitchen again.
Plus, I’m pretty sure they were a crowd pleaser because by the time Ben and I got through the line, they were all gone. Either people loved them, or they were hiding them in their shoes. Since nobody was walking funky, I’m guessing it wasn’t the latter.
One note: if you do make these a day or two in advance, just leave them in the oven a bit longer to make sure they warm through. 30-35 minutes should be sufficient.
So if you are a Shepherd’s pie fanatic or you need to be introduced to the over century old dish, these Gluten Free Shepherd’s Pie Twice Baked Potatoes are definitely for you…and your guests…or just you. Whichever.
- For the filling:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1½ cups chopped carrots (about 2 large or 4 small)
- 1 cup chopped celery (1-2 stalks)
- 1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ lbs. lean ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
- ¼ cup red wine
- ½ can tomato paste
- 2½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons white rice flour
- ¾ cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- For the potatoes:
- 7 large or 9 small russet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup light sour cream
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅓-1/2 cup milk
- ¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wash potatoes and prick with fork. Place potatoes on foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until centers are soft.
- Remove potatoes from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before handling. Once cool enough to handle, cut potatoes lengthwise in half and scoop out the centers into a separate bowl, leaving about ⅛ inch thickness of potato inside along with skin.
- In your bowl with the scooped out potato, add butter, sour cream, salt, pepper, and ⅓ cup milk. Mash or whip to desired consistency, adding more milk if needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Set potatoes aside and make filling.
- To make filling, heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add onion, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Season with a few shakes of salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Add ground beef and season with a few additional shakes of salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain excess liquid from beef and veggies.
- Return skillet to heat and add red wine, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, white rice flour, water, ground mustard, parsley, and thyme. Stir vigorously to incorporate flour. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is mostly reduced and mixture has thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Distribute filling evenly between potato skins. Spoon or pipe mashed potatoes on top. Top potatoes with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake on foil lined baking sheets for 25 minutes* at 350 degrees until warmed through.
- Serve warm with sour cream, bacon bits, chives, or other desired toppings.