I like to provide things when I can. I try to be helpful, generous, solution-giving, etc. I like to produce.
So when someone asks for a recipe, because they so adored the dish when I first served it…
Damn right I’m gonna supply.
So yeah. I made this Shepherd’s Pie for Thanksgiving. And I kinda winged it, and didn’t record the recipe.
The “meat” portion is based on/inspired by my awesomely awesome chili.
The texture of the finely chopped veggies, legumes, and the wonderful blend of spices makes a great alternative to ground beef.
Lots of flavor going on, people.
Then there’s mashedly mashed potatoes.
I boiled the tah-toes with their own skins, plenty of salt, and some peppercorns.
Can’t hurt to add a little extras when you boil something…
(Can you see my reflection in the wonderful Professional Kitchenaid Mixer, Tia Malena??)
Green things = chives. Because everyone likes chives, right?
Yellow cube things: buttah. Because, damnit.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
for the filling-
1 medium carrot
1 pint mushrooms
1 medium tomato
1 small onion (or half medium
1-2 garlic cloves, depending on your liking for garlic
1/2 cup red lentils (you can use other types of lentils, but they may require longer cooking time)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
approx 1 cup liquid (broth, beer, water, etc.)
drizzle of soy sauce or tamari
salt and pepper to taste
for the mashed potatoes-
3 large Russet potatoes
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper or peppercorns (optional)
1 1/4 cup sour cream (maybe a little more if necessary)
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1) Make the filling. Finely chop the carrot, mushrooms, tomato, onion and garlic. Drizzle some olive oil in large pot and turn the heat to medium-high. Now throw in all the veggies and lentils. When things start to get hot, lower the heat to medium, and cover the pot partially. Stir occasionally as the liquid from the shrooms and tomatoes evaporates. Meanwhile, combine the spices in a small bowl. When the mixture has lost most of its liquid, stir in the spices, then add the broth, or whatever you’re using (I used a combination of hard cider and water). Also add the soy sauce. Bonus: I had some fresh thyme and sage from my new patio garden and threw that in. Allow to cook until the mixture has a chili-like consistency and the lentils are done. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Spread filling into a 9-inch pie plate, or an 8×8 inch baking dish (or something equivalent). Set aside.
2) Make the mashed potatoes. Peel the potatoes, and combine them with their skins, salt, and pepper (if using) in a large pot. (The skin adds a bit of flavor). Add enough water to cover the potatoes and put to boil for about half an hour, or until they are tender. Once done, transfer the hot potatoes to a large bowl. Reserve the water they were boiled in. Break them up with a knife or large fork, then start mashing with either a mixer or potato masher. Add the butter, and mix/mash it in until it’s melted. Now mix in the sour cream, then the reserved cooking water as necessary until it’s smooth, creamy and fluffy. Gradually add chives, salt and pepper to taste, and more sour cream if you feel it’s needed.
3) Spread the potatoes over the filling. Make it fluffy!! If you’re like me, more salt and pepper over the top. Then we’re gonna be bad… and dot some little cubes of butter all over before this baby hits the oven. And bake at 350°F, though you can turn the temperature higher if you’re lacking patience… Until the potatoes are lightly browned… And that butter has melted and adorned the crevices like rivers running through mountains…
You can serve this right away. Maybe along a nice salad like this one.
Or this one.
And for dessert, maybe some Cranberry Orange Banana Bread?
And/or irresistible Pumpkin Blondies?
Some notes… This recipe can be adjusted in various ways. For one, you can use different veggies than listed. Just keep texture in mind. You don’t want a mushy filling, so different types of mushrooms, root veggies, lentils, corn, quinoa, etc, are good options. Second, you can use different types of potatoes, but some are more waxy versus starchy like Russets, so do your research and see what will be good for mashing. Third, want to make this a little healthier? Use Greek yogurt mixed with the juice of one lemon instead of sour cream. And olive oil instead of butter? Totally okay. FOURTH! Want to make it vegan? There are plenty of vegan substitutes for butter and sour cream. But if you have trouble getting them near you, just ask, I’ll help you out with what you got.
And finally… Share =)