This unique vegetarian shepherd’s pie is made with plant-based ‘beef’ and topped with a root vegetable mash. Same rich flavors and textures as a traditional shepherds pie – and just as delicious. (You can, of course, use regular ground beef if you’re not a vegetarian).
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
This unique vegetarian shepherd's pie is made with plant-based 'beef' and topped with a root vegetable mash. Same tastes and textures as a classic beef shepherds pie – and just as delicious.
2poundsroot vegetables, cut into 1 inch/2.5cm cubes, Note 1
2teaspoonkosher salt(or more to taste)
4tablespoonParmesan cheese, divided (optional)(3 for mash; 1 to sprinkle before baking)
1tablespoon-2 light cream or milk, optional
1/4cupchopped green onions (optional)(about 3 small)
Filling Layer (in order of use)
1 1/2tablespoonolive oil
1cup(160 grams) chopped onions(about 1/2 a medium onion)
1cup(110 grams) small diced carrots(or half carrots, half other veggie like peppers, celeriac, parsnip, etc)
3/4pound(340g) plant based beef(best brands: Impossible Beef and Beyond Burger)
2teaspoonschopped garlic(about 2 cloves)
1 1/2teaspoonsdried thyme, Note 2
1/2teaspooneach, salt and black pepper
2tablespoonsall purpose flour
1cupvegetable stock or broth (I use 3/4 cup broth, 1/4 cup red wine), Note 3
1/2cupfrozen corn niblets
2cupsfresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
GET READY: Preheat oven to 400F/204C and place rack in top 1/3 of oven. Spray an 7-8 inch (18-20cm) square pan with oil.
MAKE POTATO/ROOT VEGETABLE TOPPING:
°Boil: Place potatoes and other root vegetables in a medium pot. Add enough cold water to cover veggies by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Add 2-3 tsp salt. Bring to boil. Lower heat to medium and gently boil for about 15 minutes or until soft and fork tender.
°Drain: Drain vegetables in a colander and return to the pot. On medium heat, shake cooked vegetables to evaporate water for 1 minute.
°Mash: Add butter, green onions and 3 tablespoon Parmesan (if using) and 1-2 tablespoons milk/cream if you like (not too much milk – you don't want the potatoes soupy). Mash with a fork or potato masher. Do not use a food processor or immersion blender. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Set aside.
MAKE FILLING LAYER:
° Heat oil in large skillet to medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
° Add plant based beef and chop it up into small pieces with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Stir in garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes, until 'beef' is brown.
° Stir in flour for 2 minutes.
° Add broth/wine, frozen corn and spinach. Stir to combine well. Let simmer for 3-4 minutes to let the mixture thicken for a rich gravy. Taste and adjust seasonings.
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE/BROIL: Spoon 'beef' filling layer into casserole dish. Top with a thick layer ~3 cups/630 grams root vegetable mash (you may not need all the mash you made). Fluff topping with fork. Sprinkle on 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan if desired.
°Bake for 15 minutes. Note 3. Turn oven to Broil.
°Broil for 2-3 minutes until topping is golden brown. Top with extra green onions if you like.