Saturday, June 28, 2008

Friendly Shepherd's Pie

This is my fail-safe recipe for Shepherd's Pie, sans the sheep. It's hearty, comforting, filled with lovely vegetables, and virtually guaranteed to transport you to a dim, half-timbered pub, where a friendly dog naps before an open fire and the barman has ten Real Ales and some lethal local cider on draught. If the weather is fine, there might even be some morris dancing out back, assuming you're into that kind of thing!

Friendly Shepherd's Pie

~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
~ 1 tbsp vegan bouillon (I used Better Than Bouillon) dissolved in 1/4 cup boiling water>
~ 2 cups chopped onion
~ 1 cup each: diced carrots and celery
~ 3 cups chopped mushrooms
~ 1/2 cup frozen peas
~ 1 12 oz. package firm silken tofu (I used Mori-Nu), coarsely mashed
~ 1 1/2 tsp. each: thyme, sage, tarragon, parsley
~ 1 tsp. each: sea salt, fresh black pepper; more pepper to taste
~ 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
~ 1 prepared whole-wheat pie crust
~ A big batch of your favorite mashed potato recipe, because you can never have too much!

~ Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
~ Saute onions in oil over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes.
~ Add garlic, celery, carrots and seasonings and saute another 5-7 minutes, adding bouillon mixture gradually to prevent sticking.
~ Add the mushrooms and cook everything down to a nice, smooshy brownness; about 15-20 minutes, stirring pretty constantly.
~ Add the tofu, peas and nutritional yeast; continue cooking until well combined and still slightly moist.
~ Pour into pie crust and top with a layer of mashed potato.
~ Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
~ Remove foil and drizzle 1-2 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or other vegan margarine mixed with some paprika over the top, dragging the tines of a fork around to make pretty patterns.
~ Return to oven and bake uncovered another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and lovely.
~ Serve with extra mashed potato, mushy peas, roasted carrots, the vegan gravy of your choice (I like mushroom gravy - recipe below) and a nice pint of bitter. Rule Brittania, dudes!

Mushroom Gravy

~ 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 2 cups chopped mushrooms
~ 2-3 tbsp. flour
~ 1 cup plain, unsweetened soy or other non-dairy milk
~ 1 cup vegetable broth
~ 1 tsp. each salt, thyme, sage, dried parsley
~ Lots of fresh black pepper

~ Combine the soy milk and vegetable broth and heat to almost boiling, either on the stove or in the microwave.
~ In a skillet, saute the garlic, mushrooms and seasonings over medium heat until softened, about 5-10 minutes.
~ In a saucepan, warm the oil over medium-low heat and add the flour and the spices, stirring to make a roux.
~ As it begins to thicken, add about 1/2 cup of the broth/soy milk mixture, stirring until smooth.
~ Add the sauteed vegetables and then, gradually, the remaining liquid, stirring constantly as it begins to thicken.
~ Raise the heat to medium and continue cooking 5-10 minutes, until you get the consistency you like (you can always add more liquid if it's too thick, or turn the heat up to reduce it if it's not thick enough).

1 comment:

  1. Yay Elizabethan vegan recipes! I never ate shepherd's pie as a child (just my grandmother's biscuit-covered 'meat pie'), but since going veg it's been one of my favorite meals.

    This is KarynMC from the PPK, btw. :-)