(Vegetarian) Shepherd’s Pie

(Vegetarian) Shepherd’s Pie
now that it’s back to work time – and i must say it feels a little bit strange to type, after 2 weeks of almost-abstinence from anything with a (proper) keyboard – i’m hiding in the comfort that is a hearty meal. like shepherd’s pie. let’s hang on to some lush dishes just that little longer, shall we? i’ve never made shepherd’s pie before, but it’s now officially a favorite. both, the vegetarian and the meaty version.

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(vegetarian) shepherd’s pie
recipe inspired by “what katie ate” 
serves 4 – makes 1 medium sized ovenproof pan or 4 small ramekins
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ingredients for the minced meat: 
500 g minced beef or soya
1/4 celery, peeled and grated
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbs. tomato paste
a little flour
2 dl / 1 cup red wine
1 bunch parsley, stems and leaves separately chopped
5 twigs thyme, leaves picked
3 dl (1.5 cups) beef or vegetable bouillon or broth
salt, pepper, musk
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ingredients for the garlicky mash:
5 large floury potatoes, quarters
5 garlic cloves, whole
1/2 cup milk
3 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
1 egg yolk
salt, pepper, musk
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start by preparing the minced meat. heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. sweat the onions for a couple of minutes, add the garlic. fry the minced meat or soy, the celery and the carrots. dust with a little flour (this will make the sauce more thick). add the tomato paste and fry for a minute or so. deglaze with red wine, then add the parsley stems and thyme. let simmer on medium heat until the wine has evaporated. now add the bouillon or broth. cook for another 30 minutes, until all the liquid is reduced. season with salt, pepper and musk. at the end, add the parsley leaves. put aside.

for the garlicky mash, prep the garlic cloves first: roast them (skins on) at 220 c / 430 f for about 20 minutes, or until dark brown and soft. remove and let cool. turn down the oven to 180 c / 360 f.

cook the potato quarters in salty water until tender. drain and put back in the pan. let the steam evaporate from the potatoes. in another saucepan, heat the milk and season well with salt, pepper and musk. add the roasted garlic: either chopped or minced. grate the parmesan and put to the milk as well, together with the butter. heat on low heat. press the potatoes through a passe-vite (food mill) into the hot milk. stir and whip very well with a wire whisk, until all the pieces are broken in and everything is smooth and fluffy. adjust seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. work in the yolk.

to assemble the shepherd’s pie, fill in the minced meat into a greased (buttered) ovenproof pans. make sure not to add too much of the liquid (you can keep any excess liquid to make a gravy). ladle the mash on top of the meat. shape peaks with a fork and make some air holes. bake at 180 c / 360 f for 30 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top and juicy hot below. if you want you can also turn on the broiler for the last couple of minutes, to make the top extra golden. cover with foil if you think the pie turns too brown.

serve steamy hot, with some gravy on the side (if you like). vegetarian and meat lovers alike, rejoice!

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