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Shepherd’s Pie with Little or No Plan

What a discovery! My sister has mentioned the fun of shepherd’s pie for awhile, but I didn’t get it until I tried it myself. Part of the problem was reading five fairly different recipes, but eventually I created an easy one. It still takes a couple of steps because of the mashed potatoes. But we all agree, the mashed potatoes are what make the dish.

So the basic game plan was to use primarily ingredients that would be found in the freezer and pantry. Frozen veggies, canned beans, potatoes and onions are easy to keep on hand won’t require trips to the store.

4 med. potatoes
prepared horseradish to taste
4-8 oz. mushrooms fresh; or equivalent dried rehydrated and finely chopped
1 onion chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 T ea. dried parsely, sage, rosemary and thyme
1 6 oz. tomato paste
1 T Bragg’s or soy sauce
1 can each kidney beans and chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 16 oz. bag frozen mixed veggies (like peas, carrots, corn)
1 16 oz. frozen broccoli
a little red wine or broth for sauteeing

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Peel potatoes and boil until done. mash with a little cooking water or non dairy milk. Add horseradish to taste, about 2-3 T.
  2. While potatoes cook, saute onion, garlic, celery, and mushrooms in wine or broth until soft.
  3. Add dried herbs and Bragg’s or soy sauce.
  4. Add beans and cook until well combined and veggies are well cooked. Add tomato paste and combine well. Transfer bean mixture to a sprayed baking dish.
  5. Add frozen veggies to skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook to taste.
  6. Spread veggie mixture over the bean mixture.
  7. Spread the mashed potatoes over the vegetable layer, sealing the edges well. Dust with paprika, and bake for about 30 min., uncovered.

Note that the vegetables used are very flexible. Many variations of fresh or frozen veggies could be used, depending on season, availability, or inclination. This makes a big batch, but it won’t stay around for long! Plus, it freezes and reheats well.