Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Scalloped Root Vegetables

Scalloped Thanksgiving Root Vegetables.  Clean/Primal/Paleo.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I decided it was time to post a Paleo/Primal recipe for a possible Thanksgiving dish.  For the clean eaters, the problem is that traditional Thanksgiving dishes tend to be full of carbs, except for the turkey.  Look we have mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, dinner rolls, sweet roasted root veggies, green beans, cranberry sauce, and a whole lot of pies.

Last year, I posted a Paleo Thanksgiving sausage stuffing recipe.  While it was still good, it was a different dish.  It lacked the essential texture and rich bread flavors crucial to making it taste like the real deal stuffing.  Since Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, instead of ruining one of those delicious carby Thanksgiving dishes by trying to make it "Paleo," I decided to create something totally new.  We used a variety of in-season vegetables (which for the most part are root vegetables) and Thanksgiving flavors to create Scalloped Root Vegetables!  This is clean, gluten-free, Primal, and "Paleo," depending on your definition.

Based off of scalloped potatoes, this dish uses the same layering and cooking techniques.  It differs in every other way though: variety of root vegetables vs. potatoes, Swiss cheese based sauce vs. Thanksgiving herb cream sauce, and the meat addition!

In-season Root Vegetable Suggestions. Sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, yams, beets, parsnips, radish, etc. 


Ingredients:  For a 3qt casserole dish: 
  • 1lb Pork Breakfast Sausage, de-cased.  There are a lot of Thanksgiving spices in breakfast sausages: sage, thyme, rosemary, nutmeg, just to name a few.  So ideally you would not make a sausage type substitution.
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced (optional, added to the breakfast sausage)
  • Variety of root vegetables, thinly sliced ~1/8 inch thick.  I used: ~1 large sweet potato, ~1 large rutabaga, ~2 small turnips
  • 5-6 Tbsp Organic Grass-Fed Butter (I like the Kerrygold brand)
  • 2 Tbsp Shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Flour
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Rosemary
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup Heavy Cream (coconut milk might also work here, assuming you flip the can and refrigerate 1 day prior)
  • Gruyere and sharp cheddar cheese in a 2:1 ratio, shredded.  I used Le Gruyere Switzerland & Kerrygold Kilaree Cheddar Cheese.  I used about 1/4 block (about 2"x1"x0.75") of the Gruyere and a knob of the cheddar)
  • 3-4 stalks, Green Onion, chopped
2. This winery is sooooo good, I joined the wine club.

  1. Gather ingredients.  Grate the cheeses, mix, and set aside.  Use about a 2:1 ratio of cheese.  Finely mince the shallots.  Chop up the green onion.  Wash and peel the root veggies.  DRY the root veggies.  I used a combo of sweet potatoes, turnips, and rutabagas.  Preheat the oven to 425F.
  2. In a hot cast iron skillet, cook the 1# de-cased breakfast pork sausage.  Mince.  Add ~2 cloves of minced garlic.  Cook until pork is fully cooked, or until the water is gone.
    3. Minced pork breakfast sausage.
  3. While the pork is cooking, use the food processor to slice the root veggies.  Set aside.  You can also hand slice them, about an 1/8 inch thick, but this is why you invest in one of those fancy food processors: a few seconds vs. a long time to slice up all these veggies.
    4. Un-peeled turnips, sweet potatoes, and rutabagas

    5. Thinly sliced!
  4. Heat the 5-6 Tbsp Butter in a sauce pan over high heat.  Add the 2 Tbsp minced Shallots when you see the butter foam begin to subside.  Cook for a couple minutes.
  5. Add the 3 Tbsp Coconut Flour and cook until the mixture is tan.  The shallots should stop sizzling and the water gone.  The coconut flour works here (instead of flour), but it just takes a lot longer to cook and thicken.  ~8-10min.
  6. Add the 1 Tsp of White Pepper and the 1/2 Tsp Rosemary.
  7. Turn the heat down and add the 1/2 cup of White Wine.  Stir for a minute.  I used the remainder of one of my favorite Chardonnay's.
  8. Add the 1/2 - 2/3 cup Heavy Cream.  I used ~2/3 cup.  An upside-down chilled (the night before) 1/2 can of Coconut Milk *might* work here.  I haven't tried that and probably won't.
    6. Adding the heavy cream.  I used ~2/3 cup.  This is actually 1/2 the sauce.  While making the sauce, we realized halfway it wasn't enough so I doubled the recipe and added it together in the end.
  9. Add a combination of the shredded gruyere and sharp cheddar (2:1 ratio, respectively).  Save about 1/3 of the shredded cheese combo for layering later.  Turn the heat up, and bring sauce to a boil.  Salt and pepper if needed.  I did not since it was already full of flavor.  Once the sauce is boiling, remove from heat.
    7. Adding shredded cheese.
  10. In the casserole dish, start spreading the root veggies at the bottom of the dish.  Pour in some of the sauce.  Add some of the minced breakfast sausage, grated cheese, and chopped green onions.
    8. Bottom layer (a little conservative on the sauce in this photo): minced breakfast sausage, green onion, sauce, and grated cheese.
  11. Continue layering in the same manner, until the casserole dish is almost full or until you run out of sauce/pork/green onion/cheese.  I saved the most of the sauce, pork, green onion, and cheese for the top layer.  I created 5 layers.
    9. Five layers of deliciousness.
  12. Bake for 45min - 1hour at 425F.  Check at the 45min mark and determine if you need to cook it longer.  Once it is done baking, cool for ~10 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!
    10. Pre-oven.

    11. Post-oven. Yumm!!
So not only did it taste delicious and also very Thanksgiving, but it also held up well!

12. Mmmmmm!

This dish came out FAR better than we expected and this beats my sausage stuffing from last year.  This will definitely be at my dinner table come Thanksgiving day, and I hope at yours too!!