Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

After Monday's fiasco I needed a little redemption (and so did my cookbook).

So I gathered up the makings for Shepherd's Pie.

(Okay, it's not technically in the recipe, unless you want a drunk shepherd. But a girl needs a refreshment to fuel her chopping and sauteing and boiling and such, and that's one nice beer! Check out the frou frou review it got.)

The Real Ingredients (Don't let the length of this list scare you. Most of these things are pantry items and it's really not a complicated recipe ... unlike the crepes.)


  • 6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, or as needed (if you want a lower-calorie/fat version, just use potato cooking water and a bit of olive oil in place of buttermilk)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup dry TVP granules
  • 3/4 cup water


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped (or, like me, a handful of baby carrots - minus the two Hannah ate)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups cooked lentils (the recipe didn't specify and I had red lentils on hand)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

Garnishes (optional)... we 'opted':

  • 2 tablespoons grated cheddar cheese
  • paprika


Potatoes: Boil the potatoes until done, about 15 minutes. Drain and return potatoes to the pot. Mash and stir in the buttermilk and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Gravy: Place the tomatoes in a small pot and cover with 2/3 cup water. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the tomatoes and chop, reserving cooking liquid. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, bell peppers and garlic, stirring until lightly browned, adding the basil, oregano and cumin during cooking. Add the tomatoes, reserved cooking liquid, soy sauce, TVP, and 3/4 cup water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Hash: In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Cook the onion, stirring, 1 minute. Add the carrots and water, and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent and the carrots are tender (about 8 minutes). Stir in the lentils, garlic, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter a 2-quart dish. Spread the hash in the dish, then spoon the gravy over the hash. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese and paprika. Bake until bubbly and fragrant, about 30 minutes.


Chef Tanya -- The ingredient list is long, but this is really simple to make. Just a bunch of chopping and sauteing. Start to finish we're talking about an hour (only 1/2 hour of 'active' time.... maybe less if you don't have kids asking you to sign school papers and husbands distracting you with YouTube videos). I've only had Shepherd's Pie one other time (shout out to my sister Krista!) and that was a meat version. This veggie version isn't as tasteful. I'd suggest upping the spice quantity.

Jason -- It was okay, but a little bland.

Okay, so it was only a partial redemption. But, hey, at least this meal is colorful (not like "brown junk covered with poop-looking stuff", as a co-worker described the crepes) and has potential.


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