Gracious Vegan Shepherd's Pie

By the Gracious Vegan

Gracious Vegan Shepherd's Pie.jpg

I wanted to find a recipe for shepherd's pie that wasn't too much like pot pie and that didn't use meat substitutes. If you like vegan "beef crumbles," there are a number of recipes out there for vegan shepherd's pie that you might like. But I find that omnivores can be suspicious of substitutes, so I kept adapting my recipe until I found shepherd's pie that ticked all the boxes.

Note that Trader Joe’s sells pre-cut onions, carrots, and celery. They also sell pre-cooked lentils. These can save you time, or start from scratch, the old-fashioned way.  

Makes 8 servings

Start the lentils – you’ll need one cup of cooked lentils. You can cook more and freeze the leftovers for another purpose. If you’re just making enough for this recipe, start with 1/3 cup lentils. Put them in a saucepan, cover with water by 2”, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 20-25 minutes until they are soft but not mushy.

  • Dry lentils, 1/3 cup or more

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

For the filling: water-sauté the following ingredients in a Dutch oven or other large saucepan on the stove, starting with 2 Tablespoons water. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the liquid released by the mushrooms is evaporated and the vegetables are tender. (Alternatively, cook these ingredients in the microwave.)

  • 3 cups mushrooms, sliced or diced

  • 5 medium cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 2 medium stalks of celery, chopped or sliced

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 1 onion, diced

Add these to the Dutch oven (or microwave bowl) and stir well. Cook for a minute or two.

  • 1 cup cooked lentils

  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped

  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon thyme

  • 1 teaspoon sage

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Ground fresh pepper to taste

Add the liquid, stir, turn the heat to medium, and heat until the mixture is bubbly and thick, about 3-5 minutes.

  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (or more vegetable broth and 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar)

  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth

Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into a deep dish 9-10” pie dish or large horizontal casserole dish.

For the potato topping: Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes until just tender. Remove from heat and drain.

  • 1.5 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks.

Put the potatoes in your mixer’s bowl. With the regular paddle, mix the potatoes by themselves for 1 minute at Speed 2.

Add the following ingredients and mix for 30 seconds at Speed 4, then 1 minute at Speed 6.

  • 1/2 cup nondairy milk

  • 1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)

  • 1/2 Tablespoon tahini (optional)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Replace the paddle with the whisk attachment and whip on Speed 10 for 2-3 minutes.

Spoon the mashed potatoes over the top of the veggies in the pie dish, and smooth so that it is evenly spread. (You can also drag a fork over it in fun patterns.)

Bake the pie for 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees, uncovered, until the filling is bubbly and the edges of the potato topping are starting to brown.

Allow to cool for five minutes before cutting and serving.

Timing: Around 70-75 minutes

Nutrition: Whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free if you use gluten-free flour in the filling

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