Sunday, November 21, 2010

Shepherd’s Pie

Our friend Vanessa has been hounding me since we moved back a few months ago for the privilege of following me around the kitchen while I cook in an attempt gain some mad cooking skills through osmosis*. She finally invited herself over to make this dream come true today, but unfortunately, not realizing an eight week old baby affects scheduling, arrived more than a few hours late, just as I was putting dinner in the oven (don’t fret Vanessa, there are many more opportunities in the future).

Since the air finally took on that distinct crisp, fresh scent that means snow is on the way (which the weatherman has been promising), so I decided it was the perfect time to make Shepard’s Pie. If tender veggies and faux beef topped with mashed taters with a side of crispy kale seasoned with sumac doesn’t warm you to the core, just add in your wife, three good friends, and an eight week old baby snuzzling into your chest, and your heart will grow three times, like the Grinch’s did after the icicles around his heart melted.

Shepherd’s Pie

1 lb. baby red potatoes
1 lb. purple potatoes
½ cup daiya cheddar shreds
1/2 rice milk
4 Tbs earth balance
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup petite peas
1 cup sweet corn
2 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, sliced
1 1/2 packages Gardien beefless tips
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano
1 tsp Bragg's liquid aminos
¼ cup vegetable bouillon
Mashed taters:
Boil potatoes for 30 minutes or until soft. Separate and mash in two batches. With the purple potatoes, mash with 2 Tbs earth balance, ¼ cup unsweetened rice milk, ¼ tsp pepper and 1/8 tsp salt. With the baby red potatoes, mash with 2 Tbs earth balance, ¼ cup unsweetened rice milk, ¼ tsp pepper, 1/8 tsp salt and ½ cup daiya cheese.

Chop each beefless tip into sixths and place to the side. Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and herbs and stir occasionally to prevent sticking until onions start to caramelize. Turn burner to low and add chopped beefless tips and stir for another 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and ¼ cup vegetable bouillon and 1 tsp Bragg's and cook on low for about 15 minutes until carrots and celery are slightly tender (but not mushy), add liquid as needed to keep mixture slightly moist.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place onion/vegetable/faux beef mixture in a baking dish (I used a deep dish pie pan, but a casserole dish will work just as well), and top with alternate rows (or rings) of mashed potatoes. You can even get all fancy and pipe the taters in a pastry bag or icing gun. Bake for about 30 minutes until potatoes start to brown.

* I’m not really that cocky, but I am a bit snarky and like to give my friends hell


  1. What a brilliant idea about the purple potatoes! Yummy!

  2. thanks! was quite fun to make and eat.