Pastitsio is basically an Italian version of Shepherd's Pie, usually with a tomato-ey ground beef mixture, macaroni, and a cheesey sauce. But if you know me or are getting to know me at all, you probably know I didn't want to use macaroni. ;-) So I substituted roasted cauliflower. So much healthier and honestly more flavorful if you ask me.
This is certainly not the most beautiful dish I've ever made, but it was very tasty, and as soon as I took the first bite, I immediately had a whole list of ideas as to how to make it even better. We'll see if any of those pan out the way they look/taste in my mind. But for now, this:
I head of cauliflower, chopped in fairly small chunks
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1-1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup burgundy cooking wine
1/2 cup low sodium beef stock
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss cauliflower in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and somewhat caramelized.
2. Coat a nonstick or cast iron pan with olive oil and saute onion and garlic over low heat until onion is translucent and garlic is fragrant. Increase heat to medium and add beef. Cook until browned and then drain.
3. Return beef to pan and add tomato paste, beef stock, wine, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Add to roasted cauliflower 1/4 cup Parmesan and nutmeg and mix well.
5. In a 9x12 or similar casserole dish, layer half of the cauliflower mixture followed by the seasoned beef and then the second half of the cauliflower.
6. In small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add coconut flour. Cook for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in milk until well-combined. Bring to boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Temper egg by adding milk mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until egg mixture is warmed, then add back to milk in pot. Season with salt, pepper and Sriracha and pour over casserole.
7. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and warmed through.