No shade to lentils (we love a good lentil shepherd’s pie!), but sometimes you just want a vegan shepherd’s pie that tastes and feels like real beef. Plant-based meats have come a long way, and this shepherd’s pie from the PC Test Kitchen proves it with a vegan ground that’s decisively beefy in taste and texture. Feel free to use whatever meat alternative you like.
Mashed potato topping
2½ lb (1.13 kg) yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and quartered (6 to 7 potatoes)
½ cup (125 mL) vegetable broth
1/3 cup (83 mL) vegan buttery spread or margarine
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and black pepper
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
1 pkg (340 g) PC ® Plant-Based Beefless Ground (or meat substitute of your choice)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pkg (340 g)PC® Crumbled Cauliflower (can sub for your own)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) each tomato paste and sodium-reduced soy sauce
½ tsp (2 mL) each salt, black pepper and dried thyme
1½ cups (375 mL) vegetable broth
2 cups (500 mL) frozen mixed peas, carrots and/or corn
Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).
Mashed Potato Topping: Place potatoes in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches (5 cm). Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a gentle boil and cook until very tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan. Add ½ cup (125 mL) broth, the buttery spread and ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt and pepper. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare filling: Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add beefless ground; using spatula, break into 4 pieces. Cook, turning pieces once, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Continue to cook, breaking up into crumbles using spatula, until browned and cooked through, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in flour, tomato paste, soy sauce and ½ tsp (2 mL) each salt, pepper and thyme; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually stir in 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) broth. Stir in frozen vegetables and beefless ground; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook, stirring often, until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to 8-inch (2 L) square glass baking dish, spreading evenly. Spoon mashed potato topping over filling, spreading to edges. Place on baking sheet. Bake until filling is bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Swap out the yellow-fleshed potatoes for sweet potatoes, or use half yellow-fleshed potatoes and half sweet potatoes.
Recipe and image courtesy of the PC Test Kitchen.