You are right-- Shepherd's Pie is not Irish. It's actually Scottish, then English, and can really be found by different names all over the world. It's also not on the menu I came up with... 3 hours ago. But guess what? I don't care. I was going to make bangers but I wanted to finish my leftover chickpea stuff before making another batch of seitan. So I made this, and you know what? They probably eat it in Ireland, too. Meat + potatoes. Can't go wrong.
So I used the four remaining pieces of 'chickpea-en' (worst name ever, see!) from the other day, but you can also use 8 oz. of tempeh, crumbled, or 8 oz. seitan, chopped into little itty pieces. My mom used to make vegetarian Shepherd's Pie when I was younger (and non-veg when I was real young, that's what hooked me!) but I learned to make it myself from a recipe in the Student's Go Vegan Cookbook by Carole Raymond. I modified it slightly and make it from memory now, so I'll post it here. I hope that's okay, Carole!
One more note. Apparently I eat too much salt, which is not surprising at all because I do eat huge amounts, so I am working on adjusting my palate to a less sodium-demanding one. If you are not, you can add more salt, but I think this tasted just fine (plus 1 tsp. is still a lot. I have a long way to go).
- 3 medium russet potatoes, washed and cubed (I don't peel them)
- 1/2 c. soymilk
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 oz. tempeh or seitan
- 2 carrots, chopped small
- 1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 c. frozen or fresh peas
- 1 c. reserved potato water
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp. water
- 1/4 tsp. dried, rubbed sage
- 1/8 tsp. mace
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1. Place the potatoes in a 2 qt. saucepan and fill 3/4 of the way with water. Bring to a boil, lower to medium-low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain, being sure to save the water for later. Add the soymilk and mash until creamy, flavoring with salt and pepper. Then, preheat your oven to 375 degrees!
2. Heat oil in your skillet over medium heat (I sauteed in water as per the Happy Herbivore's suggestion). Throw in your onions and cook until soft. Add the seitan, carrots and peas and saute for a few more minutes.
3. Add your spices, stir, then add the 1 c. potato water and cornstarch mixture. Stir over medium heat until it thickens. Lower the heat to a (low) simmer, cover, and let cook for aout 10 more minutes.
4. Spoon the seitan mixture into medium sized, oiled casserole dish. Cover with the mashed potatoes, and for extra color, sprinkle generously with paprika. Stick in the oven and bake until golden! (20 minutes or so).