Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

If you find yourself in a bit of a bind and you have to cook something great, all you need are onions, carrots and celery to save the day.

Shepard's Pie

Photo: Jeku Arce (Flickr)

Shepard's Pie is a dish made with leftover meat and other titbits. You can substitute sweet potatoes, chickpeas or tofu for the meat.

After finishing my final exams and papers of the semester, I came home expecting to relax and to begin “vegging out.” Unfortunately, what I got was something I’m sure many of us have heard before.

“Honey, can you make me something for a carry-in tonight at work?” Did I mention I only had an hour to make it?

So, I look in my fridge and find onions, celery and carrots. Okay, I thought to myself, these ingredients are the holy trinity of food — now to perform a Christmas miracle.

What I came up with was a Vegetarian Shepard’s pie. My mom used to make something similar with leftover pot roast. I was surprised to hear from my hubby that, although everyone at his office liked the dish, they had never heard of it!

Shepherd’s Pie (or cottage pie) is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potato. In my old Betty Crocker recipe books, the dish was a means of using leftover roasted meat – though it is a great way to use leftover mashed potatoes too. I substituted sweet potatoes for the meat, though a good variation could be chickpeas or tofu!

Vegetarian Shepard

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 large celery stocks, chopped
  • 1 large (about 1/4-1/2 lb) sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons butter or Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoon butter or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup Vegetable broth or Milk can also be used
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl. Combine with butter, vegetable broth, and salt and pepper. Mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
  2. While potatoes boil, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Add oil to hot pan. Add chopped carrot, celery, sweet potato and onion. Cook veggies until tender.
  4. Add Worcestershire, sage, thyme and parsley. Add butter and flour together and cook at least 2 minutes.
  5. Whisk in broth. Thicken gravy a few minutes. Pour mixture into non-stick sprayed casserole dish.
  6. Top with prepared mashed potatoes.
  7. Preheat broiler to high. Broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned.

Sara Conrad

Sara is an eternal student. Currently studying Tibetan Culture at Indiana University, she loves to cook with fresh, organic, vegetarian ingredients – but also has never turned down fake mashed potatoes in a buffet line.

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