Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

(sorry for the lousy pic....camera was having a 'blue' day)

Okay...the truth is out...I am much more in my element creatively cooking...much more so than baking and you can probably tell it from my posts! This recipe is from my vegetarian days and originates from a recipe book from that era. I have liberally recreated the original recipe to suit my family tastes and my own preferences. If you are not vegetarian you may chose to serve a meat with this dish...ours was pork schnitzel. It is a bit of work...but
sooooo worth it. If you like savoury...you'll like this dish. I even brought the left-overs in to work!!

Stuffing:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 med. white onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery finely chopped
  • 8 cups of whole grain bread cubes (I cheat and buy them pre-seasoned in the bulk section but if you don't then use the full amount of spices below. If you DO buy them already seasoned...please 1/2 the spice amounts or it will be toooo strong.)
  • 2 tsp ground sage
  • 1 tsp savoury
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt (I NEVER use salt unless I have to in baking...you can leave this out)
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley (dried will do too) minced
  • 1 vegetable bullion (or use two cups of homemade /bought low sodium (that is me again with the low sodium) chicken broth. If you use already constituted broth you won't need the water below.
  • 2 cups boiling water
Mashed Potato Crust:
  • About 10 medium to small potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (8 - 10 cups.
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Peel potatoes and put in pot with cold water, celery, bay leaf and garlic. Bring to boil, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender.

While potatoes are cooking, you can start the stuffing. Melt the butter and saute the onion, celery. Saute until they are softening. Add your bread cubes, and spices mixing well. Add the bullion in 2 cups boiling water...or your heated broth. Mix well and steam covered over very very low heating for about 15 minutes or so.

Turn your oven on to about 350. In a separate small saucepan melt the butter and add the cream. Heat until it is hot without boiling. Mash your potatoes (having drained and removing the garlic and celery) in a food processor or normal way you prepare. Add the butter cream mixture and salt and pepper to taste.

Put the stuffing in an oven-proof casserole dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. Bake in oven for 30 - 35 minutes (depends on the depth of the casserole dish) until crust is golden. While it is baking prepare the Mushroom Cream Gravy.


Mushroom Cream Gravy:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 veg bouillon (again I use homemade/canned low sodium chicken broth) and then eliminate that water)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • salt to taste (come on...ya don't need it!)
In a large frypan melt 2 tbsp butter. Add the mushrooms and saute till tender and juicy. Can you smell that wonderful smell?!!!!! Keep sauteing until a dark brown juice comes from the mushrooms. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Pour the juice in a measuring cup and save.

In the same frypan melt the other 2 tbsp butter. Add the flour and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the mushroom liquid and continue stirring with a whisk as the gravy thickens. Add the water and bullion stirring continuously. Add the cream and salt and garlic. At this point you can add the mushrooms again or you can serve them separately over or on the side of the Shepherds Pie. This is not a lot of work...just a lot of words and it is delish!!!!!!!

9 comments:

  1. Trish, this is an awesome looking side dish . .what a great thing to bring to a potluck. The mushroom sauce looks wonderful.

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  2. oh sigh...it tastes soooo much better than that silly camera shot! grin....bad camera day!

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  3. i could go for a piece of that vegetarian shepherd's pie right about now..sounds wonderful Trish!

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  4. This looks like an awesome recipe to forward to my vegetarian friends, or make it the next time they come over.

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  5. What helps me out is that you said. . . this is not a lot of work, just a lot of words. =)

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  6. hee hee Anneliese...As I LOVE being in the kitchen and chopping this, sauteing that....sampling this etc...I love it and the time goes by. Told you I like cooking better than BAKING!!!! grin....truly though...got to try it. Oh and Marg...yep..totally veg using a veg. bullion.

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  7. I agree a good dish to make for a potluck. A real comfort food. Kathy

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  8. I am a vegetarian, and was also fed A LOT of Shepherd's Pie as a child, so I appreciate being able to go back to comfort food. It's hard being a vegetarian when you miss foods you were so used to. So thank you!!!! I made this recipe and found it works perfectly when cooked in a Dutch Oven. This dish made me smile.

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  9. Elana...glad yo liked the recipe. Tis truly one of my favorite vegetarian recipes because, you are right, it does mimic our old comfort food we grew up with.

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