March 24, 2014

Non-Shepherd’s Pie

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I am in love with this fabulous vegan riff on one of 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 by Amy Wisniewski.

2 russet potatoes (about 1 lb/500 g total), peeled, cut in 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
1 large sweet potato (about 12 oz/375 g), peeled, cut in 2-inch (5 cm) chunks
1/2 cup (125 mL) vegan sour cream
1 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
Freshly ground 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 (about 1/2 head), cut in 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
3 carrots (about 6 oz/175 g total), cut in 1/2-inch (1 cm) dice
1 large turnip (about 8 oz/250 g)
2 cups (500 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
2 tbsp (30 mL) each: soy sauce, tomato paste
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 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.

Filling: While potatoes cook, heat oil in 12-inch (30 cm) skillet on medium until shimmery. Add onion and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes, until they start to brown and sound squeaky. Stir in celeriac, carrots and turnip. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add stock, soy sauce, tomato paste and thyme. Stir to coat vegetables. When mixture comes to full boil, cover, reduce heat to low and 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 and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes or until sauce thickens. Stir in peas. Generously grind in pepper. Adjust salt.

Preheat oven to 400F (200C).

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

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • Non-vegans can use regular sour cream or yogurt in the topping.

Tested in Imperial