Happy Saturday, Everyone! I hope you all are getting into something fun, relaxing, and generative!
Since autumn has starting showing up all around (though not in the weather today–it is hot and sunny! Poor us, I know!) I have been inspired to make hearty, warming dishes. When I was a kid, my mom used to make Shepherd’s Pie and since going vegan, it has been something I have tried to recreate. But, as you other vegans already know, it can get tricky replicating “meat” in a believable and satisfying way. ‘Course, I’m still new to this vegan thing and I know I have lots to learn!
Anyway, I’m very pleased with this recipe–pleased enough to share with you all. 🙂
May I present for your eating pleasure, Deconstructed Shepherd’s Pie! When my mom made it, she would have the meat gravy under the mashed potatoes, then bake it. I did not have the patience to do this last night, but I’m sure you could make it that way and bake it–or freeze and bake later when in a pinch for dinner. This recipe is comprised of two parts–the gravy and the mashed potatoes. The amounts of each ingredient are flexible, depending on your own person tastes, and I encourage you to play with it to get it just right. Also, note that this made two large servings, so double the recipe if you want leftovers or have a family.
Hearty “Meaty” Gravy
1-2 Tbs Olive Oil
1/2 Onion, Diced
3 Cloves Garlic
1/2 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (I like using crimini, but you could use whatever you have handy)
1/2 Package Lentils (I like these–a helpful little cheat when pressed for time!)
1 tsp Ground Sage
1 tsp Thyme
Small dash of Allspice
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 Cup Veggie Stock
1/4 – 1/2 Cup Beer (Yes, beer! I used an IPA, but a porter, stout, or even just plain old Bud would work. Beer has gluten, but I’m sure you could use gluten-free beer and make the dish gluten-free, too.)
Several Ladles of the potato starch water, as needed. The principle here is the same when cooking pasta and you want a creamier sauce so you add a little bit of the pasta water into your sauce.
Sautee the onions in the olive oil in a large pot. Add some salt and pepper. When onions are mostly translucent, add minced garlic. Sautee for a minute more, then add sliced mushrooms. Sautee and stir until the mushrooms start to wilt and release their juices. Then add in the lentils, walnuts, seasonings, and liquids. Cover and simmer for as long as you want.
While this is going you can also have your mashed potatoes getting ready, too!
Vegan Mashed Potatoes (Easy-Peasey!)
3-4 Peeled Russet Potatoes, Chopped into roughly 2 inch x 2 inch hunks.
Unsweetened Almond Milk (or veggie stock, or other nondairy milk)
2-3 Tbs Earth Balance
Salt & Pepper (to taste.)
In a large pot place chopped potatoes. Cover in water plus extra for use in above recipe. Place lid on pot, and boil until potatoes are soft when pierced through the center with a fork or knife.
Drain off water, add in earth balance, salt, pepper, and milk (add gradually until you get the right consistency) as you rough mash with a handheld mixer. Once you feel you have enough liquid, turn on mixer to whip up the potatoes.
Then, you put the whole thing together!
Enjoy! It is a pretty easy meal to make. I always serve with steamed green beans as my mom used to put green beans in between the layer of gravy and potato. You can also serve with peas if you are feeling a bit more English pub-fancy. 🙂
And in other news, I got my first non-family/friend backer on Kickstarter! I’m stoked! I changed a few things, such as my photo (too serious!) and addressed the most important features/benefits by putting them first and foremost. It’s like selling real estate, y’all. 😉 Hope my new approach works! Keep my project in your thoughts, guys! It’s all about building that energy that attracts the right people. 🙂
Anyway, peace out. I have to go clean bathrooms. Have a super fun day and let me know if you try this recipe out! I hope you do! But not while cleaning bathrooms. That would be unsanitary.