Shepherd’s pie is such gorgeous, warming comfort food for chilly winter days. And it was a standard in our house while I was growing up. My maiden name was ‘Shepherd’ so Mum would tease us, and say that she’d need to take fingers or toes from us kids to go in to it.
It’s been a loooong time since I was a Shepherd now, but for years we have still made our version of her pie – you can find that one here.
Lately though we have been making a vegan version of the pie and it is just as yummy and ‘meaty’ as the meat based version. So if you’re a vegan, or if you’re just looking to add some more meat free meals or veggies into your diet – why not give this one a go?
- 2 tbsp garlic olive oil
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce if your diet allows)
- 1 tbsp vegemite (or a GF, soy free miso paste)
- 1 cup ready made, hot gravy (either homemade, or ‘Orgran’ makes a good vegan and allergy friendly powdered gravy)
- 3-4 medium grated carrots
- 1 medium zucchini
- 2 tins brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups spinach
- About 800g Mushrooms (I like a mix between button, swiss brown and portobello for textural variety)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- Olive oil spray
- good pinch salt
- 1 tsp chopped rosemary
In a large saucepan heat the garlic oil, the add the onion, cooking until it begins to soften.
Using your processor or thermal appliance, pulse the mushrooms several times until they are roughly chopped, then add to the onion mix in the pan. Stir them well as they begin to cook.
Add in the aminos, paste and vegemite mix well.
Add the lentils, mix well to combine and allow to simmer gently over a low heat while you prepare the remaining veggies.
Using your processor/thermal appliance or just a grater (if you have the patience!), finely grate your carrot and then add in the zucchini and process until fine (Speed 4 whilst adding and then up to 6 for about 8 secs to process, scrape down and repeat if required)
Add in the spinach, process (speed 4, 8 secs) and then add in the kidney beans through the chute at the top whilst still processing (on speed 4, then up to 5 for 8 seconds once all added).
Next, add the hot gravy to this mix and process until well combined (Speed 5, 8 seconds).
Add this vegetable and gravy mix to the mushroom and lentil mix on the stove. Mix well to combine and bring to a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Peel and chop the potatoes, then bring potatoes to the boil in another saucepan and boil until soft. (If you’ve used a thermal cooker to do the veg … you can easily do the mash in it too – Drop chunks of potato onto speed 4 spinning blades through the hole in the lid. Turn up to speed 6 for about 10 seconds after adding. Turn off, scrape down, add about 1/4 cup water and cook on Steam Temp, Speed 2 for about 8 minutes, scraping down once during cooking time. Blitz on Speed 5 until roughly smooth, then add rosemary and salt then mix again on speed 4 for about 4 seconds).
Transfer the mushroom and veg mix to a large casserole dish.
Drain and mash the potatoes together. I don’t like the mash too smooth – leave it rough and chunky, then add the salt and rosemary.
Top the mushroom and lentil mix with the mashed potato. Because it is quite thick, I find it easiest to place blobs of the mash around the dish and then spread from there. Use a fork to spread it so that you get raised lines that go lovely and crunchy in the oven.
Spray the top of the potato with the olive oil and then place in a pre-heated moderate oven for about 30 mins, turning on the top element of the oven, or placing under the grill for the remaining 5 minutes to give you a little more colour and crispiness.
This makes a very large dinner enough for all 6 (I’d say 4 adult serves) of us for dinner plus 4 yummy lunches too.