March 24, 2014

Non-Shepherd’s Pie

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I am in love with this fabulous vegan riff on one of the world’s great comfort foods. The filling is a peppery mélange of chunky root vegetables and mushrooms. The crowning glory is a topping of potatoes and sweet potato. Adapted from a recipe.

      Chunky vegetable pie. Credit: Susan Sampson


2 medium russet potatoes (total 1 lb/500 g), peeled, cut in chunks (2 inch/5 cm)
1 medium sweet potato (12 oz/375 g), peeled, cut in chunks (2 inch/5 cm)
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan sour cream
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
12 oz (375 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
12 oz (375 g) celeriac (1/2 medium head), diced (1/2 inch/1 cm)
3 small carrots (total 6 oz/175 g), diced (1/2 inch/1 cm)
1 large turnip (8 oz/250 g)
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) each: tomato paste, low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/4 cup (60 mL) cold water
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Topping: In large pan of boiling, salted water, cook potatoes and sweet potato on medium heat 15 minutes, or until very tender. Drain. Push through ricer, or mash using potato masher. Stir in vegan sour cream, 1 tsp (5 mL) salt and pepper. Adjust salt. Cover to keep warm.

Filling: In 12-inch (30 cm) skillet, heat oil on medium until shimmery. Add onion and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes, until mushrooms start to brown and sound squeaky. Stir in celeriac, carrots and turnip. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add stock, tomato paste, soy sauce and thyme. Stir to coat vegetables. When liquid comes to full boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender but not mushy.

In small measuring cup, stir together water and flour until smooth. While constantly stirring vegetable mixture, gradually pour in flour slurry. Raise heat to medium. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in peas. Remove from heat. Generously grind in pepper. Adjust salt.

Preheat oven to 400F (200C).

Scrape vegetable mixture into 9-cup (2.25 L) casserole or baking dish. Cover evenly with topping. Grind pepper generously overtop. Place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven 30 minutes, or until sauce bubbles and topping starts to brown.

Makes 4 servings.

  • Non-vegans can use regular sour cream or yogurt in the topping.
  • You don’t need to thaw the peas.