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Shepherd's Pie

January 19, 2020

Recipe adopted from America's Test Kitchen's Vegan for Everybody[Recipe makes 6 servings].

Shepherd's pie might not be the most photogenic dish once it's served, but the rich flavors and comfort that it brings to a winter's dinner more than make up for this.

We've attempted so many versions of this classic over the past few years, and despite all of the trial and error, have decided to post America's Test Kitchen's recipe rather than one of our iterations.  It's a recipe that's solid as-is, but can also be altered to suit your preferences—whether that means using lentils instead of protein crumbles, swapping out veggies, using a different flavored stock, or playing with different herbs.

The only alteration we made in the recipe below is with the mashed potatoes.  Rather than simply adding a little milk and oil to the mashed potatoes (as ATK calls for), we've linked our go-to recipe that we came up with a few years ago to give this dish a little something special.


1 batch mashed potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and diced

1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons red wine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2-1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
12 ounces vegan protein crumbles

Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Kosher salt, to taste


Begin by following the directions for mashed potatoes (linked above).  [Side note:  These can be made in advance to save on cooking time].

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add the onion and mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until there is no more water left from the mushrooms and the onions are starting to get some color.  Stir in the tomato paste and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the red wine and deglaze for 1 minute.  Stir in the flour and cook for an additional minute.  Slowly add the broth while stirring (to prevent any lumps), followed by the carrots, Worcestershire, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce for a simmer for 15 minutes.  Discard  the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, and stir in the vegan protein crumbles.  Give the filling one final taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

At this time, get your broiler preheating, and have a baking rack set in the mid-upper position.

Transfer the filling to a 2-1/2 quart ovenproof/broilerproof dish.  Dollop the mashed potatoes on top, and then level them with a spatula or small offset spatula.  Lastly, let your creative side out by adding ridges to the mashed potatoes with the back of a fork.

Transfer the dish to a rimmed baking sheet, and then transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes have a golden brown color.  [Side note: Keep a close eye on the dish, as everyone's broiler is different and requires different baking times].

Remove from oven and let rest at least 20 minutes before serving.

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