Spicy Beef & Root Vegetable Pie

salad is optional, but highly advised

salad is optional, but highly advised

It’s been a tough, long, hard week.

Our elderly dog is failing fast and we are watching him totter around on arthritic hips wondering when (if) we should end his suffering.

If you’ve ever made that decision please give me some tips here – how do you know when to make that long walk to the vet?

To top it off, a friend of ours said goodbye to her beloved dog on Monday and watching her grieve is bringing it home in a very real and painful way.

if, unlike me, you can eat cheese then top with some grated cheddar for extra yum

if, unlike me, you can eat cheese then top with some grated cheddar for extra yum

In short, it’s been a good week for comfort eating and a bad week for diets. I’m slogging through the Whole30 but it’s tough when life gets stressful and you happen to be the world’s worst emotional eater (how can it be wrong to eat your feelings when they taste so delicious?!)

In the absence of sugar, I’m turning to my traditional comfort foods – starchy root veg.

This is a hearty, winter-type meal but I’m eating it in spring because sometimes life gets wintry and you have to take your warmth where you can get it.

Spicy Beef & Root Vegetable Pie (serves 4-6)

  • 16 oz ground beef
  • 2 small jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 2 tsps cumin
  • 1 tbsp, plus 1 tsp ghee or butter
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  1. Melt a tbsp of ghee/butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Fry over a medium heat until the onion colours.
  2. Add the ground beef and sear until brown. Stir in the tomato paste, cumin, salt and mushrooms. Turn the heat down and let simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. Spoon the meat into a deep casserole dish and set aside.
  4. Add the carrots and turnip to a pot of water. Bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until the veggies are soft. Drain, season generously and add the remaining tsp of ghee/butter. Mash until smooth.
  5. Spoon the mashed veggies over the meat layer in the casserole dish. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes then serve.

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14 thoughts on “Spicy Beef & Root Vegetable Pie

  1. Oh, I am so sorry to hear about your dog. :-( My mom had the vet come to the house, and he did it while their dog was napping on the bed… he was very kind about it.

  2. Sorry to hear about your furry family member. Only you know whats best for him. Hope you have a better day ;) I enjoyed the idea of adding turnips in this dish. Hardly use them myself.

  3. My heart goes out to you. We wait until the older pet no longer can get up unassisted and doesn’t eat. Often deafness is first, then loss of sight, bladder control the bowel control. It is a hard painful choice. No easy answers. If the aspirin or pain medicine no longer works, then it might be time. If you know an animal communicator, they can find out if it is time.

    • Thanks Nanci. I’ve heard so many conflicting bits of advice (including someone who recently accused my friend of “killing” her dog because even though he couldn’t walk and was soiling himself, he still had an appetite!). I agree with you about the getting up – when our guy can no longer get up unaided, it’s definitely time. I don’t think he’s in any pain yet, so that’s a blessing at least.

  4. so sorry about your dog. We have had to do this too many times and it never gets easier. We always have the vet come to the house and don’t wait too long even though it hurts!

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