My vegan take on the mother of all comfort food – shepard’s pie. This is one of my favourite British dishes, there’s something so homely about a hot shepard’s pie.
I’ve made the “meat” filling for this vegan shepard’s pie out of seared mushroom and walnut. It works incredibly well and I regularly get told my non-vegans that it’s better than mince. Believe me it’s that good!
This is one of those dishes that really comes to life in the autumn and winter. Don’t get me wrong, I can eat a bucket load of shepard’s pie year round, but there’s something amazing about tucking into a hot pie after hours outside in the cold and wet. It’s basically the perfect dish to the British climate!
When To Eat
In general most of the veggies listed in the recipe are available year round. Though main crop potatoes are really an autumn/winter specialty. Picked late in the summer season they store beautifully over the colder months. Come spring they start to look a sorry state.
If you’re eating this dish outside the times of the year when main crop is widely available try switching out the topping for pastry. A simple shortcrust takes no time at all and can change up the whole complexion of this recipe!
The Best Vegan Shepard’s Pie
This meal is around 88% less polluting than the average UK meal.
Eating this recipe will save around 2.59 KG CO2e per person.
That’s equivalent to the emissions produced driving 21.37 KM in a modern car.How do I calculate this?
- 3 Medium Onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 Medium Carrot (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 2 Sticks Celery (roughly chopped)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (peeled and roughly chopped)
- 500 g Chestnut Mushrooms (roughly chopped)
- 150 g Walnuts
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 100 ml Red Wine
- 2 Teaspoons Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
- 2 Teaspoons Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 (400g) Cans Plum Tomatoes
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 kg Potatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Margarine
- 50 ml Almond Milk (any other plant milk will work fine)
- Preheat your oven to 200˚c.
- Place the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a blender and pulse until the vegetable pieces are much finer. Remove the mixture reserve in a bowl for later.
- Pour the plum tomatoes from their cans into a bowl. Lightly crush the tomatoes with your hands. You don't want any large tomato bits left.
- Next, blitz the walnuts in a food processor until it resembles a fine crumb. Remove the nuts and place the chopped mushrooms into the blender. Pulse until the mushrooms are shredded but not a paste. Don't be tempted to over process. Add the walnuts back into the blender and blitz for a short time to incorporate. Remove the mixture from the blender and reserve.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep pan over a low heat and add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic mixture. Cover with a lid and sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes.
- Whilst the mixture is sweating heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat and add the walnut and mushroom mixture. Fry on high for about a couple of minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick. Then add the soy sauce and red wine to the pan and reduce the mixture until none of the moisture remains. This should take 5 – 8 minutes.
- Once the mushrooms are done, add them to the sweating onions. Turn the heat up to medium and add the paprika, oregano, sugar and red pepper flakes. Stir the mixture to combine the spices and fry for a minute or two before tipping in the balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. Cook for another minute then add the plum tomatoes. Reduce the heat of the pan, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Whilst your sauce is cooking, quarter and chop your potatoes. Place in a deep saucepan and cover with salted water. Boil until soft. Drain and add the margarine and almond milk. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes into a smooth but rustic mash. Feel free to add more almond milk if needed.
- When your sauce has cooked. Pour the sauce into a deep oven dish then cover with the mash potato. Smooth the top of the mash so that you have an even covering, then place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes until the mash has begin to brown.