Shepherd’s pie is one of those dishes I remember from childhood, and as the evenings draw in and the weather gets cooler it seems the perfect time to make it. It’s really easy to make a vegan version, and it freezes well too, so leftovers won’t be wasted. For six servings I used the following;
- Three potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- Three large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 50g/2oz textured vegetable protein (re-hydrated with 150ml/5fl.oz boiled water)
- 150g/5oz chestnut mushrooms, diced
- A hanfdful of frozen peas
- One brown onion, diced
- Four cloves of garlic, minced
- 100ml/3fl.oz red wine
- 150ml5fl.oz vegetable stock
- Dried herbs, I used one teaspoon of each rosemary and tarragon
- One tablespoon of tomato puree
- One tablespoon of plain flour
- One tablespoon of soy sauce
I like to do things a layer at a time, starting with the layer of mince. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes. Then add the onion and continue cooking for another couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. Once the mushrooms have cooked down a little (after about five minutes or so) sprinkle over a tablespoon of plain flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Next you can add the tomato puree, soy sauce, wine, peas, stock, mince and herbs. Just chuck it all it and turn the temperature up to a gentle simmer. (I neglected to weigh the peas, my apologies. But as long as you possess at least one average human hand, just use that to measure out the peas.)
After about ten minutes, or until the sauce has thickened, take it off the heat and spoon it into the bottom of an oven proof dish. Remember to season to taste, I felt there was enough salt so I just added black pepper.
For the next layer you just need to boil the carrots in salted water for about eight minutes, drain, then layer the slices on top of the mince. Super easy. Onto the next layer.
Boil the potatoes for about 20 minutes until fully cooked. Then mash and add whatever else you like. Personally, I like adding a knob of vegan margarine, a splash of non-dairy milk, a couple of teaspoons of dijon mustard and finally salt and pepper. Layer the mash on top of the carrots and bake at 220ºC/430ºF for about 25 minutes.
I served mine with gravy and vegetables. Interestingly, many instant gravy mixes are accidentally vegan, such as Bisto’s Favourite gravy granules (at least there are here in England). Perhaps one day I will make my own gravy, but that day isn’t today.
Bye for now 🙂