French Canadian Shepherd’s Pie – Pate Chinois

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4.8 from 8 votes
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Everywhere, we have a lot of traditionnal dishes. Maybe rustic, not always healthy, often made with a boatload of salt, but still conforting. It helps us to remind where we come from and our history trough food. That’s why I wanted to adapt my own version of the classic French Canadian shepherd’s pie. Also commonly called ”pâté chinois” in French, it’s an old recipe with an unknown story.

A kidney healthy version of the classic pate chinois.

Renal diet

Phosphorus

This recipe is high in phosphorus. – Red meat is high in phosphorus and potatoes contain a considerable amount too. The ground beef adds 900 mg of phosphorus to the recipe and potatoes 250 mg.

Potassium

This recipe is high in potassium. – Red meat and potatoes are high in potassium. As these are the main ingredients, it is not really possible to remove them from the recipe. However, it is possible to boil the potatoes twice and reduce the potassium level if necessary.

Proteins

This recipe is high in proteins. – Meat is naturally very rich in protein. This amount of ground beef adds approximately 100 g of proteins.

Sodium

This recipe is low in sodium. – All the ingredients are low in sodium and as usual no salt or salty ingredients are used in this recipe. Most sodium comes naturally from meat. However, be careful with your whole kernel corn, this recipe uses the unsalted type.

How to make a good French Canadian shepherd’s pie

Here are my tips for making a great French Canadian shepherd’s pie :

Use fresh herb after broiling

If you want to add fresh grass, do so after the broiling step. Otherwise you will simply burn it and it will not add any taste.

Don’t forget to broil

You need to broil your French Canadian shepherd pie to get a crispy top. It’s an important part of the recipe.

Don’t use extra lean ground beef

If you use extra lean ground beef, you will end up with very dry meat. You should use medium ground beef or at least lean ground beef.

Cook thoroughly you ground beef

You need to cook your ground beef until it begins to brown and crisp. This is how you will get the best flavor from it.

Variations for the French Canadian shepherd’s pie

Here are the variations that I suggest if you want to customize your French Canadian shepherd’s pie :

Use cream corn

One of the most popular variation of this recipe is to use cream corn instead of whole kernel corn. Remember to look at the sodium content before buying it at the store.

Play with spices

A lot of different spices can be used to customize this recipe. On my part, I like to add cumin to the ground beef while cooking it. Sometimes, I also add garlic powder in the potato puree.

Add butter

If you have no problem with using butter and wish to have a smoother potato puree, you can add unsalted butter to it. Simply remember to do so before assembling the French Canadian shepherd’s pie.

If you like this recipe

If you like this recipe, you might also like these :

Low Sodium Meat Mix for Burritos and Tacos

Slow Cooker Roast Beef

Pulled Beef with Mustard & Maple Syrup

A kidney friendlier version of the classic pate chinois.

French Canadian Shepherd’s Pie – Pate Chinois

An old recipe that continues to garnish tables and offer a warm family meal. Made with simple ingredients, this recipe is one of the classics of all Quebecers.
4.8 from 8 votes
High protein | Low sodium
This page may contains affiliate links. Click here to see the affiliate disclosure.
Preparation 15 mins
Cooking 1 hr
Total 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Courses
Method Cooktop, Oven
Servings 6
Calories 230 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 lbs peeled and diced potatoes
  • 1 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cup(s) unsalted whole kernel corn (or unsalted cream corn)
  • ½ cup(s) unsweetened original almond milk (or other type of milk)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven at 350°F (175°C)
  • Put the diced potatoes in a saucepan and boil for at least 15 minutes or until tender under a fork. If you have dietary limitations for your potassium level, consider boiling the potatoes twice *.
  • During this time, heat olive oil in a pan and cook the chopped onion until golden.
  • Add the ground beef in the pan and cook until slightly brown and crisp. Break up the meat finely in the pan with a wooden spoon while cooking.
  • Drain the potatoes when boiled and put them in a bowl.
  • Add milk and mash the potatoes with a fork or a masher until you obtain a smooth texture. If it doesn't get smooth enough add more milk. Set aside when ready.
  • Cover the bottom of a square dish (8''x 8'') with the meat.
  • Add a uniform layer of whole kernel corn over the meat.
  • Add a uniform layer of mashed potatoes.
  • Put the dish in the oven for 30 minutes or until the mashed potatoes layer is golden.
  • Put the oven on '' Broil '' (500°F – 260°C) for 2-3 minutes. When the top is golden, remove from the oven and let cool a bit before serving.

Notes

Depending on your personal taste, you could choose instead to use extra lean ground beef. However, keep in mind that the final result will be more ”dry”.
This recipe uses only corn, but you can use cream corn.
You can add 1 tbsp of unsalted butter while mashing the potatoes for a softer texture.
The nutrition facts take into account that the potatoes are boiled only once.
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Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
French Canadian Shepherd's Pie – Pate Chinois
Serving Size
 
1 serving
Amount per Serving
Calories
230
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
7
g
11
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Cholesterol
 
47
mg
16
%
Sodium
 
82
mg
4
%
Potassium
 
665
mg
19
%
Carbohydrates
 
22
g
7
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
19
g
38
%
Vitamin C
 
17
mg
21
%
Calcium
 
45
mg
5
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
Phosphorus
 
219
mg
22
%
*5% or less is a little, 15% or more is a lot

This recipe is for informational purposes only.

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