Vegetarian shepherd’s pie

Wow…that is all I have to say about this meal. Don’t be intimidated by the recipe list…it’s so worth it! I could have eaten the “pie” part just by itself, but then again, the mashed potatoes make it feel like a comfort food.

I also served this with my cheesy corn muffins with fresh chives since the ingredients overlapped. I dislike having to throw herbs away because I didn’t use them all.

  • 3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 cup milk, heated until hot
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives or finely sliced scallion tops
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) grated cheddar, or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large parsnips, peeled,  halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 celery root, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 turnips, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups (8 or 9 ounces) frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup white wine (or stock if not using wine)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Combine the potatoes, cold water to cover, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for about 1 minute to dry them slightly. Mash with a potato masher while slowly adding the hot milk. Add the butter. Beat vigorously with a wire whisk until fluffy. Blend in the chives or scallions, parsley, and cheddar. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Blend the butter and flour until smooth in a small bowl.

Heat the oil in a large, flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Add the parsnips, carrots, celery root, turnips, frozen onions, thyme, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring often, until it comes to a boil. Cover the pan, turn down the heat, and simmer for 12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender but still a little firm. Stir in the butter and flour mixture.  Simmer for about 1 minute, until it melts into the stock. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large (2 1/2 quart) baking dish.

Distribute large spoonfuls of mashed potatoes over the vegetables. Spread with a fork and, if you like, make a wave pattern with the tines of the fork. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the top is golden.
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