Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food to me. I’m not sure when I had this meal for the first time, but I know I’ve eaten my share. Mashed potatoes have long been a favorite of mine, so it only makes sense to eat a meal where you get to smear the mixture with the creamy goodness.
This Shepherd’s Pie recipe, created by Allison Rivers Samson and originally published in her VegNews Magazine column, “VeganizeIt!”, is not the quickest of the bunch. On the other hand, it doesn’t have to take all night to prepare. Just be sure you start off with preparing your lentils and boiling those potatoes at the start – or you’ll be kicking yourself for not reading the recipe thoroughly enough (again!) and having to pause in the middle to prep the lentils. Wait…I would never do anything like that…:)
I actually prepared this recipe a little out of order. I like to whip my mashed potatoes in the mixer right before I’m ready to use them – so I boiled the potatoes, but didn’t combine until the end. I also drastically reduced the amount of oil for the sautéed veggies to around 1 1/2 tablespoons (instead of 1/4 cup). Other than that, I followed the recipe pretty closely. After sautéing the veggies and spices, you basically combine the rest of the ingredients and spread into the waiting casserole dish. Using a spatula, I spread the mashed potatoes on top.
The finished product certainly looks like traditional Shepherd’s pie out of the oven:
I carefully scooped out a slice and was happy to see it still looked like Shepherd’s pie. The consistency was perfect – actually a little better than many versions I have made the traditional way (which can be very runny or oily).
The taste is good, very flavorful and interesting. The texture is obviously not ground beef in this version, it’s creamier than the rough texture you remember, but it’s really good. A softer version of Shepherd’s Pie would be a good way to describe it to me. I took a serving to work for lunch the next day and it was delicious as leftovers – very satisfying! Next time, I may sprinkle a little Daiya Cheddar over the top to add a little something extra.
I also think this would be a great recipe to make ahead and freeze for a busy night! A good solid recipe, I’m sure I’ll make this one again. Did I mention I love mashed potatoes?! :)
Question of the Day – What’s your favorite comfort food and why? For me – it’s all about cheese (thank goodness for Daiya!) and mashed potatoes, so many recipes to choose from! On a cold day, I think about a grilled Daiya cheese sandwich and homemade tomato soup. Yum!