20 February 2011

Shepherd's Pie or Something Like It

I should let you know up front that I have never, nor will I ever eat a "true" shepherd's pie, so this recipe is what I'd like to imagine they are really like...you know, vegan and cruelty-free and junk. And healthy. Okay, okay. You got me. I like to splurge in my mashed potatoes. I love me some Earth Balance in my taters (I blame my mama because she always made buttery mash). Otherwise, this is some healthy shit. And tasty as hell. During this session of honesty, I will tell you that I actually meant to add some lima beans and peas to the stew-filling stuff, but I completely forgot. Maybe next time.

I basically made a smaller and altered version of my recipe for winter stew and topped it with mashed potatoes. Sounds easy, no? It doesnt? Well, forget you. It is easy.

This recipe makes enough to serve 3-4 as a main dish. I cooked mine in two 7-inch Le Creuset baking dishes I got on clearance at TJ Maxx because I am frugal. Or cheap. Or whatever. They were perfect for what I needed them for and they are bright green, which is my favorite color. You can cook them in whatever you want, so long as it's oven-safe.

  • 2 cups already cooked mashed potatoes (I added a handful of Daiya cheddar to mine-YUM)
  • 1- 8oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium idaho potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/4 inch bits
  • 1/4 large white onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dried lentils
  • 3-4 TB tvp granules
  • 1 1/2 TB minced garlic
  • 4oz button mushrooms, sliced thickly
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 1/2 TB Braggs liquid aminos
  • lots of fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Add oil to a soup pot over a medium heat. Once hot, add your spices and onions. Stir well and cook until onions are softened, 5 minutes. Then add the garlic. Stir and cook 2 minutes. 
  3. Turn your heat down a smidge to just under medium heat. Add all of the other ingredients except the mashed potatoes. Stir very, very well. Put the lid on your pot and cook, stirring every 5 minutes for approximately 30 minutes. If for some reason, yours gets too dry, add a bit more broth and stir. 
  4. Your stew-type filling should be done by now. You'll need to test by checking the doneness of the potatoes. I like my lentils with some texture, but if you like them mushier, cook it longer with more broth. You should be tasting this anyway to make sure you like the spices and such.
  5. Pour your filling into 1 large or multiple smaller baking dishes. Cover with the mashed potatoes. You can try to be artsy, like my lovely pattern that I have been told looks like intestines, or you could just smear the potatoes over the filling. Whatever floats your boat, dooood. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes on the middle rack. Then, I turned on the broiler for 3 minutes. Why? It just seemed like the right thing to do. Get off my lawn. Be prepared to burn your tongue at least once. It smells so good, that you will quite literally be unable to wait for it to cool before tucking in. I ate mine with a bit of garlic bread. Mega yum. And incredibly filling. 


  1. Ha, I love the intestines pattern on top and the shot of the filling looks SO good. Perfect for a wintery evening.

  2. Thank you! It was so delicious. And heated well the next day, too.