This is the recipe that showed me being a vegetarian is not only doable, but delicious! Granted, I am not actually a vegetarian but I have my days and I truly enjoy a meatless and sustainable meal from time to time. However, some people (i.e. TJ, or my old roommate Butters) think a meal without meat is incomplete. But once I cook up these meaty mushrooms, everyone has a change of heart.
My good friend Butters is obsessed with this Meatless Shepherd’s Pie recipe. He requests me to make it and mail it across the country to him. If ever the question came up of “What should we have for dinner?” he was sure to answer Meatless Shepherd’s Pie. I’ve made it for my parents, my brother, my cousin and her husband and two kids, TJ and countless friends (both vegetarians and carnivores) and each and every time the plates are clean and the people are pleased.
I usually reference Rachael Ray’s recipe but with a few of my own changes. This was the first time I’ve ever used kale actually, however I prefer to do it my original way with spinach or broccolini. I also usually don’t add a parsnip or horseradish into the potatoes and I like to add peas and corn into the veggie mixture. I love flexible recipes and this is definitely one for keeps. You can add or subtract whatever you want, but trust me, keep it veggie! You won’t miss the meat in this dish.
Start off by heating your broiler on high. Then quarter your potatoes and place in a pot and cover with water. Salt your water, bring to a boil and let potatoes cook for about 20-25 minutes, until soft. Once the potatoes are done, drain the water and place them back in the original pot. Add in the milk, chives and salt and pepper and mash. Add in half your cheese and the egg and mix together.
While the potatoes are boiling, clean out your mushrooms by scraping out the gills. This is extremely simple, just take a drop of water and drop it into the mushroom. Use a teaspoon to gently glide along the gills and they should come right out. IF you are tossing the gills into your garbage disposal I would recommend running it after every mushroom or so. A few too many times I’ve clogged my disposal with mushroom gills. Just a friendly tip Chop up your mushrooms into bite size pieces, being sure not to cut them too small because they will cook down a lot in the pan. Toss them into a hot pan with some EVOO and the rosemary and let cook for about 10 minutes.
Then stir in the carrot and onion and season with salt and pepper. Let cook down until the carrots are tender.
Add in the spinach (as you can see, I used kale, but really prefer the spinach) and shake a little nutmeg on there. Sounds weird, but it’s goooooood.
Once the greens are wilted, add in the peas and corn (I just eyeball it and decide when it looks evenly distributed) for just under a minute. Then pour in the Worcestershire sauce and stock and bring to a boil. Meanwhile in a separate saucepan or skillet melt the butter and whisk in the flour to create a rue. Add the rue to your veggie mixture and let that thicken up and cook down. You do not want it to be super soupy but have some liquid.
Place the veggie mixture into individual ramekins or into one large casserole dish (I’ve done it both but prefer the ramekins because it’s less mess and looks pretty). Top with potatoes and sprinkle with a little more cheese.
Place your pie(s) in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven and dig in!
Yield: 3 Servings
3 yukon gold potatoes
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsps chopped chives
1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 portobello mushroom caps
1 tsp rosemary
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 handful of spinach (or kale or broccolini or something green)
a few shakes of nutmeg
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsps butter
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper to taste throughout
1) Preheat your broiler on high.
2) Quarter your potatoes and place in a pot and cover with water. Salt your water, bring to a boil and let potatoes cook for about 20-25 minutes, until soft.
3) Drain the potatoes then bring them back to the pot. Mix in milk, chives, salt and pepper and mash. Add in the egg and half your cheese and stir together. Set aside.
4) Scrape out the gills of your mushroom caps by adding a drop of water to the inside of the mushroom and use a teaspoon to gently slide around the cap. The gills should come right out. Remove the stems and chop the mushroom into bite size pieces. At this point, I chop up the rest of my veggies so they are at the ready to be tossed into the pan.
5) Heat a pan on the stove over medium high heat and add a few turns of olive oil. Add the mushrooms and the rosemary and let cook down for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6) Add in the carrots and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook until carrots are tender, about 5-7 more minutes.
7) Add in spinach and a few shakes of nutmeg. Let the spinach wilt.
8) Pour in the Worcestershire and stock and bring to a boil. In a separate skillet or saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour to create a rue. Add the rue to the vegetable mixture and let that cook down.
9) Transfer your veggie mixture to individual dishes, or one large casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes. Add a few sprinkles of cheese to the top of the potatoes and place in the oven to broil for 3-5 minutes. Then remove from the oven and enjoy!