A vegan version of Shepherd’s Pie was on my virtual to-cook-list for ages – so here it is! As I’ve never eaten a ‘traditional’ meat one and this was my Shepherd’s Pie premiere, I can’t say if this one tastes similar or is even close – but it’s a great plant-based, savoury version that will warm you up and is easy to make. Aaand, it’s British-boyfriend-approved ;) Cheers!
For the potato-&-sweet-potato-crust
- 650-700 g potatoes and/or sweet potatoes (half/half or whatever’s left)
- 150-200 g oat milk or other plant-based milk
- 1 tsp vegan margarine
- seasoning: 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 tsp mustard
For the filling
- 100 g dry soy granules (‘TVP’ – textured vegetable protein)
- alternatives: 300-400 g smoked tofu or 100 g (dried) red lentils
- optional: 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder for soaking
- some oil for frying
- 1 onion
- 1 big carrot
- 0.5 courgette/zucchini (about 5 inches)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 glass of sweet corn (~ 250 g)
- half a can of chopped tomatoes (~ 200 g)
- 150 ml water
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp Marmite (alternative: 1 tsp vegetable stock powder)
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 2-3 twigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
- fresh ground pepper, chili flakes or hot sauce to serve
Start with making the potato purée for the crust. I used just what was left – a few sweet and a few white potatoes, together just under 700 g – but feel free to use only one kind of potatoes. Cut them into slices of under 1 cm. If you have a Thermomix (sorry to make you envious, if not), boil the potatoes for 25 min in the oat milk, stirring well, and mix in the seasonings in the end, while preparing the filling. If you don’t have a Thermomix, boil the potatoes in some water for around 20 min or until soft.
While they boil, you can start with the filling, or just do something else. I guess there’s different types of cooks: I love to find the most efficient multi-tasking way to prepare a dish, others like to do one step at a time ;) Whenever the potatoes are done, drain and put them back into the sauce pan, add the plant milk (as much as you like – less for a drier, crispier crust, more for a creamier one), then mash and add the seasonings. Set aside.
For the filling, soak the soy granules according to package instructions in some vegetable stock or plain water. Cut the vegetables in small pieces and fry in some oil in a big pot, starting with onion and carrot, then adding the garlic and the soy granules. Add the courgette and the sweet corn, frying for a bit until crispier. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and water and season with tomato purée, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Let simmer for a few minutes, stirring once in a while to prevent burning (I know what I’m talking about). Preheat your oven to 180° C (350° F) and add paprika powder, Marmite and thyme.
Fill in a baking dish (~ 25 cm/10″) and scoop the potato mash on top, making sure the surface is even – ‘peaks’ will burn easily. Bake for 25 to 30 min until the crust has dried off a bit and turned golden. Enjoy!
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