This week I want to share a recipe for one of my favourite winter warmer dishes; vegan shepherd’s pie. Before moving to London and even before going vegan I had never tried shepherd’s pie so this is a concoction I’ve made after trying different recipes and referring with my ever loyal recipe tester Rob about to ensure I’ve got a flavour and texture that’s similar to the original. Except it’s completely vegan and plant based as well as packed with delicious vegetables.
For me this is a grounding dish with a lot of depth in it’s musty flavour, that’s why I love it. In my opinion you can’t go wrong with mash either so that’s another lovable trait of the pie. Even though in Sweden we wouldn’t call this a pie but probable a bake or something similar since there’s no crust. However if you get the settings right on your oven you can get a little bit of a crusty feel to the top layer of the mash as it turns a little golden on the swirly tips. Well it’s not really a crust so much as a more textured surface to your mash.
The mash in this shepherd’s pie is made from traditional potatoes and not as traditional cauliflower. I enjoy mixing other vegetables into my mash to give them more flavour but also to change the nutritional profile of them. Here were eating a cruciferous vegetable without even knowing it. That can only be a good thing as they are said to be some of the most nutritious vegetables known to human, hurrah!
Ultimately it’s a yummy, filling and robust dish perfect for when the winter weather turns a little somber. Giving you strength to muster on in the wait for spring. I hope you’ll give it a go and love it just as much as I do. Enjoy! x
VEGAN SHEPHERD’S PIE
YIELDS: 1 skillet (25 cm) / TIME: 75 min
For the mash:
2 2/3 cups potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup oat milk, unsweetened
1 tsp sea salt
White pepper, to taste
For the filling:
1 cup onion, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cup carrots, chopped small
1 1/2 cup celery, chopped small
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
3 cups cooked beluga or du puy lentils, or a mix
2/3 cups vegetable stock, or sub water + 1 vegetable stock cube
Olive oil + 1 1/2 tbsp sundired tomato soaking oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp tamari or soya sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot starch, or sub other starch
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
Sea salt + black pepper, to taste
Place potatoes at the bottom of a steaming basket and place the cauliflower florets on top. Steam until tender, roughly 20-30 min. If you do not have a steamer simply boil.
Once tender remove from the steaming basket and place in an empty pot. Add the nutritional yeast, oat milk, salt and pepper and use a hand blender to mash it all together. Set aside. You could start by adding half of the almond milk if you’re worried the mash might become too loose.
Whilst the potatoes and cauliflower steam you can start preparing the filling for the pie by sweating onion, carrot, celery and garlic for roughly ten minutes in a skillet with a little olive oil over medium low heat.
After those ten minutes you can add your mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, sundried tomato soaking oil, balsamic vinegar and dried herbs. Continue to sweat the mixture for another 15 minutes on medium low heat.
At this stage you can preheat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Ones the 15 minutes have passed you can add the cooked lentils and arrowroot starch and mix well before adding the vegetable stock and tamari. Let the mixture continue to cook uncovered on a medium low heat for another ten minutes. This time it’s important that you give it a mix with a wooden spoon or other utensil every other minute or so.
To finish of the filling give it a taste and use sea salt and black pepper to reach the flavour you desire.
To prepare the pie for the oven pat the filling down so it’s level in the pan using the back of a wooden spoon or spatula. Then add the mash on top and spread it out evenly. If you wish you can use a fork to make swirly patterns in the mash before placing it in the oven.
Bake the pie in the oven for 15 minutes and then if you can switch on the fan assist on the oven and bake for another five minutes, this will assist in making the top of the mash golden. If you do not have a fan assisted oven simply bake it in 200 degrees celsius for 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving with your favourite greens.