Sunday, March 13, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

As a child, I often heard this referred to as "Cottage Pie" and thought it sounded disgusting - after all, who wants cottage CHEESE in a pie? Imagine my pleasant surprise years later, when I discovered it contained no nasty cottage cheese, in fact it was the same thing as "Shepherd's Pie" and an easy dinner casserole (plus a great way to use up leftovers!).

Not all that exciting-looking, but perfect for a cool winter (spring?) dinner and with the 'meat', green veggies and potatoes, it always seems sort of St. Patrick's Day appropriate, even though I'm sure the dish is not of Irish origin at all.

Here's my easy, cheap, sorta-short-cut version. I've included lots of options for using leftovers. You can even use (*gasp*) instant mashed potatoes if that's what you have.

Shepherd's Pie
  • 5 large potatoes, (peeled if desired) and cut into quarters
  • 3 Tbsp Earth Balance or other margarine
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plant milk
    (OR 4 cups already-prepared instant mashed potatoes, to sub for the above 4 items)

  • 1 cup dry TVP (dry/unreyhdrated textured vegetable protein granules)
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 Tablespoon vegan Worcestershire or soy sauce
    (OR 2 - 3 cups prepared vegetarian burger crumbles of your choice, to sub for the above three items)

  • 1 small onion
  • bit of oil to cook onion in
  • 2 tsp dry vegetarian bullion/broth powder, 'beef' flavor if possible (or "George Washington Broth" works well here)

  • Aprox. 2 cups "Imagine Foods" Portabello Mushroom or Potato /Leek Soup OR 2 cups leftover homemade creamy soup (or gravy) of your choice
  • 2 cups frozen peas, corn and carrots OR other mixed vegetables of your choice (leftover cooked-from-fresh, or even canned work OK here)
  • paprika to garnish
  • (OPTIONAL)1/2 cup vegan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Boil potatoes in a large pot of water for approximately 15-17 minutes or until soft.
Drain. Mix/mash the potatoes with an electric hand mixer on low. Add the margarine and salt; mix well. Slowly add the milk to potatoes.
(Or prepare instant mashed potatoes according to package directions).
Set potatoes aside.

Rehydrate TVP granules in boiling water and soy or Worcestershire for ten minutes. Drain very well (I actually squeeze the excess liquid out with my hands, messy but effective).
Sauté onions and add with broth powder to drained TVP.
(Or 'brown' whatever vegetarian burger product you're using with the onions).
Set 'meat' mixture aside.

If using frozen vegetables, pour some boiling water over them to partially thaw. If using canned, drain well.
Place vegetables in a casserole dish, dot with small amount margarine. Sprinkle on salt, pepper, whatever seasonings you like.

Add 'meat' and onion mixture to casserole.
Pour soup/gravy over all. It should barely cover vegetables and "meat" but not be soupy.
Spread mashed potatoes and top with paprika and grated cheese if desired.
Bake in oven until heated through and cheese has melted, about 30 minutes. I like to turn the broiler on for JUST a moment at the end, to toast the potato topping. Watch carefully if you do this...



Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day said...

This looks so good!

Caitlin said...

Your recipes are amazing! Your blog is definitely my go-to for inspiration. Thanks!

Sal said...

YUM! I used to love shepherds pie, I have made a couple of vegan versions since going veg, but none really blew me away. I'll have to give yours a go.