Incredible Vegan Sheperds Pie2013-10-07
- Cuisine: World
- Yield : 8
- Servings : 8
- Prep Time : 30m
- Cook Time : 1:20 h
- Ready In : 1:50 h
Shepherds Pie originates from Great Britain, where it came about at as a way to use left over meat, primarily lamb, (hence the shepherd) and vegetables in a savory stew, topped with a pillowy layer of buttery mashed potatoes, and baked. It’s quite brilliant, isn’t it?
This version however, is vegan (and gluten free). No shepherd involved here. The stew is made with mushrooms and sun chokes, instead of lamb. It’s rich and deep enough for a full bodied glass of red wine, and depending on how you make it, can be rustic, or refined.
The star of the recipe is the Jerusalem artichoke, or also called a sun choke. They look similar to fresh ginger, but are completely different. They are actually the root of the perennial sunflower, in season for a short period of time in the fall. They have the most amazing flavor, nutty and earthy and a hint of sweet, and are starchy like a potato.
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- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
- 2 Diced Onions
- 4 cloves Garlic- minced
- 1 1/2 lbs sliced Mushrooms
- 1 lb sun chokes
- 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled, diced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 Cup red wine
- 2 Tablespoon rice flour ( or regular flour)
- 3 Cups rich veggie stock
- 1 Tablespoons red or brown miso paste
- 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 Cup fresh Italian Parsley
FOR THE POTATO TOPPING: Peel and dice 4 lbs russet potatoes, cutting them into 3/4 inch cubes of similar size. Place them in a saute pan and cover with an inch of water. Add salt and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, and continue to boil until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
When tender, strain. Mash with potato masher until smooth, adding 2 T olive oil and 1 T truffle oil. Taste for salt. I like adding a little ground white pepper. If you don't want to splurge on truffle oil, a little nutritional yeast ( not brewers yeast) gives a rich cheesy flavour. If you will be piping them onto the shepherd-less pie, place in a piping bag. If potatoes seem dry, loosen them by adding a little hot water and mixing in.
FOR THE STEW: Dice the Jerusalem artichoke (also called a sun choke) into 1/2" pieces, along with carrots and parsnips. For this recipe, I prepped 4 Cups sun chokes, and 4 cups of carrots and parsnips ( 2 cups each). Plus the 6 cups mushrooms. It may seem like a lot of vegetables, but remember the stew will cook down. You will end up with about 8 cups, by the end, enough for 8 servings.
In a large heavy bottom pot, heat oil on med high heat. Saute onions, parsnips, carrots and 1/2 tsp salt for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally until onions are golden and carrots are tender. Turn heat down to medium. Add mushrooms, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, herbs and 1/2 tsp salt and continue to sauté on medium heat, stirring frequently, until mushrooms begin to give off their liquid, about another 8 minutes. Still on med heat, add 1 Cup red wine. Stir occasionally, and let wine reduce until its almost gone, about another 8 minutes.
While wine is reducing, heat 3 Cup vegetable stock and add 1 Tablespoon of miso, in a separate pot, stirring until its dissolved. When wine is mostly reduced, Sprinkle with 2 Tablespoons of rice flour ( or regular flour) and stir it for about 2 minutes. Add hot stock/miso mixture to the pot, stirring until the stew thickens, about 3 minutes. Taste for salt, add more cracked pepper if necessary, and 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat, stir in fresh Italian parsley.
In the end, you will have a rich deep flavorful stew. Fill your baking dish, or individual ramekins, or a large cast iron skillet, or whatever oven proof dish you want to serve it in, and either cover with the truffled mashed potatoes, or sliced potatoes. Sprinkle with a little rosemary or thyme.
Place Completed pies in a preheated 375F oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes. Serve with a sprig of thyme and a good red wine.
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