Brazilian Style Shepherd’s Pie “Escondidinho”

Escondidinho is a Brazilian style Shepherd’s pie that is typically made with yucca (and it is amazing!) and “stuffed” with a yummy seasoned layer of meat! But not today. I made it a little different today….

I don’t have yucca at hand but I NEEDED to have it tonight so I made it with cauliflower and potatoes, made it as creamy as I remember having it with the yucca version and it came out a success.

This is “lighter” because it is made with smoked salmon instead of marinated shredded meat, and also has the cauliflower addition despite having 3 different fats (butter, Crème fraîche and cream) but they are a great addition to the mash. Don’t forget the cheese on top. Yea. It’s definitely NOT low-fat but that’s not what I’m after here.

This is a legit cold weather dish and whatever protein you decide to add will be king! I hope you try it!!!

Sheppard’s Pie – Brazilian style on the lighter side

  • 2 medium Yukon potatos, peeled, quarters1 head of cauliflower, washed, quartered
  • 2-3 tbsp Crème fraîche (or cream cheese)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup or heavy whipping cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Onion and garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup of shredded cheeses (I used mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar
  • 6 oz smoked salmon or Protein of choice: This is often made with well marinated shredded beef, pork or ground beef. That’s coming soon. I can’t wait to make this again.


  1. Boil potatoes and cauliflower together for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. Drain and mash when tender. If you like it chunky use a potato masher. I used an immersion blender and got it smooth. You can also put it in the blender and blend.
  3. Once mashed, add creme fraiche, butter and cream all together. Season to taste and enjoy as a side, or use as a base for your “pie”.
  4. Spray an oven safe pan with olive oil or baste with butter. Layer! A 1-2 inch layer of the creamy cauliflower mash, layered with the smoked salmon (or protein of choice) and another 1 inch layer of mash. Finish off with sprinkled cheese!
  5. Cover it with with aluminum foil, bake st 375°F for 30 minutes. Remove foil when you see the mash kind of simmering, increase temperature to 400°F and give it 10-15 minutes until the cheese becomes bubbly and golden brown. You might have to broil on high for the last 1-2 minutes.

Enjoy with roasted or blistered cherry tomatoes, and ir you’re Brazilian, you’ll appreciate potato sticks for added texture and crunch! But totally optional!

I will be making this again with other proteins and with real yucca as soon as I can find it! it’s not readily available in my local super markets.