Its is a whole entire 18 degrees out. BRRR. I think you know where I'm going with this. I don't know about you but I'm making Shepard's Pie.
The first time I tasted this I was in Salisbury, England. Also referred to as Cottage Pie, I was swept away, as I have been from day 1 in the place I call the home of my heart. It originated in the 1700's. Its origins are from Northern England/ Scottish roots. This is ancestral food and beloved pub grub with good reason.
NOTES :Traditionally, made with ground lamb, This can be made with beef, ground turkey or this lovely VEGAN version. Milk and butter can be substituted with Vegan butter and a nut milk for the potatoes.
I'm going to post both meat AND Vegan versions. That's just how I roll. I am eating pretty much vegan these days, however we can get into my philosophy on food another day.
This recipe is my simplified version. Waiting on my British friends for feedback. I think it may vary from family to family.
You can use a piping bag to pipe on the the mash, but its not necessary. We are probably all living in our PJ's anyway. #Covidtimes, no need for fancy. 🙂
PROTEIN NOTES VEGAN : 2 packages of Tempeh, and a small box of button mushrooms. In a food Processor, Pulse the Tempeh and mushrooms to resemble mince.
For the Mash: Use a vegan butter and nut milk
There are several notes, please read thoroughly first. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lets just make a lot shall we?
2 lbs ground Tempeh/ Mushroom or ground meat of choice ( see above notes )
1 very large onion or 2 medium diced
2 medium sized carrots shredded
1 cup green peas ( Leave out if you hate peas I LOVE THEM)
3 Tablespoons tomato paste. ( I like a bit extra, it thickens the sauce)
Thyme I like about 2 teaspoons
Black pepper and salt to taste,
2- 3 cups broth Traditionally beef but you can use veggie. I like Frontier Natural coop Vegan beef broth powder.
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and placed in a pot with cold water
Butter OR vegan butter about 1/4 cup more if you like more
1/2 cup Nut milk or milk
parmesan cheese OR a Vegan Cheddar
drizzle Olive oil for sauté
- Peel and cube your potatoes, in even sized pieces for even cooking. Place in a pot of cold water, bring to a boil, until fork tender, drain and rinse.
- Mash the potatoes with a masher, add in the milk ( nut or real, butter, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large deepish sauté pan or heavy bottom 3 qt pan, add in the oil, and onions. Sauté for a few minutes on a medium heat.
- Add in the Tempeh mix OR the ground meat. ( if you are using meat, break it up with a spoon and cook until almost done. NOTE: If it is a fatty meat sauté separately then add to the onions;.
- Add in the carrot's, the peas, the garlic powder and broth and the tomato paste. If you want to start out with less paste, that's fine. It just helps to thicken as well as add flavor. Cook down on a low flame for about a further 15 minutes. You don't want to cook all the liquid out.
- ADJUST THE SEASONING. Taste, add more if it needs.
- This should fit in a 9x12 pan OR get creative and use whatever oven proof pan you have. Spread out evenly.
- Either spread the potato mash on top, or pipe it on with a piping bag. I like peaks. You can achieve that with a fork .
- Sprinkle on paprika and cheese ( parm for the omnivores and vegan parm or cheddar for the vegans.)
- Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until you see a little crust on the potatoes. This slices even better the next day.
Some folks add Rosemary, Worcestershire sauce ( not gluten free), there may be other spices. If you are vegan, by all means add more veg. I'd love to see what you come up with.
No stress. Just fun. Stay warm friends, feed yourself well. Put on the tunes, Cook and dance with abandon. That's what I'm talking about.