Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Post 2 Shepherd's pie

"Harry and Ron slouched into the Great Hall in states of deepest gloom, Hermione behind them, wearing a well-you-did-break-school-rules sort of expression. Harry didn't enjoy his shepherd's pie as much as he'd thought."- Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets pg 119 hardcover.

I first heard about shepherd's pie after reading Harry Potter and looking up recipes for a HP themed party we planned to have years ago and by party I mean dinner before going to watch the latest film's midnight release.  In all fairness a party would have been a blast and that may well happen now that my nine year old is just as taken with the books as I was am. I  don't remember the site I'd found my original recipe and I have tried finding it my best guess is the blog was deleted(I've done a LOT of looking. Regardless it was an instant hit in our home. I've tried a few times to veganize it as well as trying a few other recipes from various vegan cookbooks I own but I like the tweaks to the original (for us) best.

Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients :
2 cups cooked great northern beans if using canned one can will do.
1/2 tvp dry but reconstitute before using in recipe
1tsp oil; could use water or more broth if oil free
1 large onion chopped
1 heaping Tbsp. chopped/minced garlic
5 med button mushrooms quartered and sliced
1 Tin tomatoes(400g)  (Muir Glen 14.5oz diced no salt added)
2 carrots quartered and sliced thinly
1.5c. Fresh green beans cut to 1/2 inch in length
1/2c frozen peas (optional)
3/4pint/1.5c. No sodium added vegetable broth (Kitchen Basics No Salt Stock, Vegetable)
1bay leaf
2Tbsp tomato paste
1/2tsp Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian No Beef Base.
4 biggish potatoes
knob of butter( Earth balance or more broth/ nondairy milk of choice for no oil)
Salt, pepper, mixed dry herbs (1/2 tsp; thyme, sweet Hungarian paprika, salt. 1/4tsp; black pepper, oregano. 1/8tsp cayenne(optional) 2 Tbsp. parsley flakes)


Heat oil to med high in a large heavy bottomed pan, fry chopped onion until transparent and just starting to brown up a bit, at garlic and mushrooms stir and cook another 1-2 min until the garlic starts to get very fragrant and lightly brown.

 Add carrot and cook stirring occasionally for next 8-10 min. Add tomatoes and  cook vigorously until tomato juice has evaporated and you are left with a thick tomatoey gravy now add remaining ingredients aside from potato and butter. Stir very well make sure the bottom is free of any stuck bits that may burn, reduce heat and simmer for 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 425F

While simmering chop and boil potatoes, Yukon gold really shine in this recipe. Drain but not thoroughly leaving a bit of the cooking water which helps to get a nice fluffy mash, add knob of butter salt and pepper if you wish and mash away! Lumps are okay here there no need to pull out beaters. When they filling is done it will be like a THICK sloppy joe texture. It will be wet of course but you don't want it soupy and the vegetables should be tender.  I used a cast iron pan so I left the filling in the pan if you need or want to transfer to a casserole dish do so now and smooth it out. Top with mashed potatoes you can do this any way you want. I like to take a fork and in a spiral from the center smooth the potatoes out. The fork tines leave little ribs in their wake which get golden and slightly crisp which is lovely but not necessary. Sprinkle with paprika (optional) and bake 25-40 min depending on how crisp/golden you want the top. Last night we were running late so 25 it was.


  1. *happy sigh*

    Oh man, that looks so good.

  2. That fork-spiral trick is genius! That looks delicious!

    1. Thanks! I saw someone else do it on top of meatloaf cupcakes years ago I never tried it with that but have used the trick ever since for shepherds pie.

  3. I want it! I love your theme :]

  4. Yum, this looks so good; love your theme! :)