Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Even in my meat-eating days, I wasn't ever that fond of corned beef and cabbage. I'm pretty sure it wasn't due to my mom's rendition, as I tended to like her meat dishes. I just never found anything special about the dish.

Once I turned vegetarian, corned beef was, of course, out, and I preferred my cabbage in salads or Asian preparations. But it's still nice to have something vaguely Irish for the holiday, and shepherd's pie fits the bill.

In our household, shepherd's pie is the "use up what needs using" dish - we throw just about any vegetables in, top with mashed potatoes, and bake. I've never been one for adding fake ground beef or other veggie meat alternatives, but they tend to work well in a dish like this.

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

3-4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons butter or oil
2-3 carrots, chopped or sliced
8oz mushrooms (any variety), sliced
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 head broccoli, chopped
1 medium zucchini, sliced
4oz mushroom gravy
4oz milk or cream
salt and pepper

Peel and cube potatoes, and boil for 15 minutes on high heat, or until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare all other vegetable ingredients, and place into a large saucepan with the butter or oil. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until mushrooms and onions are cooked through.  Add mushroom gravy to vegetable mix, stirring to coat the vegetables. Remove potatoes from water and mash, slowly adding milk until they reach desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350F, and move vegetable mixture to oven-safe, high-walled dish (8x8x4 works well, as does a loaf pan). Add mashed potato mixture on top, covering the surface of the vegetables. Cook for 15-20 minutes until potatoes develop a slight golden brown crust. Let stand 5 minutes, then serve.

This recipe can easily be adapted to suit your taste. Try using mixed Asian style mushrooms (fresh, dried or frozen), substitute any of the vegetables for what you have on hand (eggplant and squash would both work well), or add flavorings or cheese to your mashed potatoes. Enjoy!

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Michael Doss published on March 17, 2009 6:13 PM.

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