Vegan Shepard’s Pie
I created this after watching Patricia Heaton make a Shepard’s pie on her Food Network show, Patricia Heaton Parties. I hadn’t had this comfort food in such a long time, and I turned of the TV drooling, determined to make one I could eat. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself! (And yes, it contains tons of nightshades… if you’re abstaining right now, maybe try a sweet potato topping and skip the tomato sauce).
4 large Russet potatoes, peeled
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 cup oat milk
½ cup nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste
Daiya cheddar cheese shreds
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced small
1 lb of seitan (2 8 oz. packages)
1 Lightlife “Smart Sausage” (or any spicy vegan dog you like)
½ cup tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce (I use Mama Coco’s)
Chop the potatoes into big chunks and cover with cold water in a saucepan. Add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer 15-20 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, move onto the base: Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté until very soft and translucent. Add minced garlic, chopped celery, and another pinch of salt. Sauté a little, reduce heat to low, and cover. Check occasionally while doing the next step to make sure the onions don’t burn.
In a food processor, process the seitan and sausage until they become like ground beef. Add to the onion mixture, with the tomato sauce. Mix together. Add enough water to create the Shepard’s Pie mixture consistency that you like. Mine is soft, but not runny, and I add about ½-1 cup of water, slowly while stirring. The water will not be absorbed, so go easy and check consistency as you pour. When you’re happy, cover and let simmer over very low heat.
When the potatoes are soft, drain them in a colander, and transfer back to cooking pot. Mash a little. Add the vegan margarine, oat milk, and nutritional yeast and mash some more. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjusting the other seasonings if you need to. I add a little vegan cashew herbed cream cheese at this point, but it’s not available everywhere, so I haven’t included it on the ingredients list.
In an 9’ x 9’ baking pan or casserole dish, scoop the seitan base into the bottom, going about halfway up the dish. Smooth it out. Layer the mashed potato mixture on top and smooth. Sprinkle with some daiya cheese shreds, if desired.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Let set for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!