Traditional Shepherd’s pie contains lamb, gravy, and vegetables, covered with mashed potatoes. Its close cousin cottage pie contains beef. This version substitutes vegetable stock for the broth used to make the gravy and contains kidney beans to provide protein. As the mashed potatoes contain milk and are topped with cheese, this one dish* meal is suitable for lacto-ovo vegetarians. If you are opposed to alcohol just use an additional 1/2 cup of stock.
*It ends up in one dish but takes a several to cook.
Pseudo Shepherds Pie Ingredients
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic – minced or pressed
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 ribs of celery, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms – sliced
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup red wine (or substitute an additional 1/2 cup of stock)
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 cups or 1 can kidney beans (fully cooked)
- 1/2 cup frozen vegetables (use whatever you have on hand: corn, green beans, peas)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp salt
- pepper to taste
- 4 potatoes – peeled, and cut into 1″ cubes
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 oz of cheddar cheese
Directions after the jump.
Pseudo Shepherds Pie Instructions
Heat a pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the diced potatoes turn the heat down to a simmer and allow to cook until fork tender, not mushy (this happens while you are preparing the rest).
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof skillet (or transfer to a baking dish before topping with mashed potatoes. Add the diced carrots and cook for 3 – 5 minutes until the carrot begins to soften.
Add the onion and celery, cooking for an additional 2 – 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.
Add the 1/2 cup of wine and be sure to loosen any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan, these add a lot of flavor.
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a cup or bowl whisk the cornstarch into the vegetable stock, this prevents it from clumping. Add the stock, beans, mushrooms, thyme, salt/pepper to taste, and frozen vegetable to the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover.
When the potatoes are fork tender drain and place in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher if you have one, (some people swear by a potato ricer, but I use a pastry cutter, as we’re not very picky). Add the butter, milk, salt and pepper and mix with a hand or stand mixture just until blended. If you over mix potatoes they will become gluey. Remember these are homemade, there will be lumps; just consider it part of the charm.
Dollop the potatoes over the vegetables, then smooth.
Grate the cheese over the potatoes and place in the oven until melted.