Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shepherdess Pie

Cottage Pie is an authentic English dish made with minced meat and vegetables and covered with a mashed potato crust.When lamb's meat is used it is called Shepherds Pie.This pie was originally created to make use of leftover meat and vegetables.There are several versions of this pie and a vegetarian version that substitutes meat with lentils,beans or Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP or soy chunks) is known as Shepherdess Pie.

Shepherds Pie has always been a childhood fantasy for me.I read about it in childrens books along with other dishes like Yorkshire Pudding.I got a wonderful recipe from Ellie Kreiger for Shepherd's Pie(Source:Food Network).This is actually a protein -rich recipe which add cauliflowers to the crust as well.I simply replaced the lean meat in it with TVP or soy chunks.It was delicious and so here's it.


Ingredients:
Crust:
Potatoes: 2 medium
Cauliflower: 1/2 cup
Butter: 1.5 tbsp
Milk: 4 tbsp
Salt&Pepper: as per taste

Filling:
Mixed Vegetables: 1 cup (I used peas,carrot,corn,cabbage etc)
Soya chunks: 1/2 cup+
Onion: 1
All Purpose Flour: 2-3 tbsp
Dried Thyme: 1/2 tsp
Chilli Flakes(optional): 1 tsp
Oregano(optional):1/4 tsp
Salt&Pepper:as per taste
Water /Veg Stock/Cube: as needed to cook veggies

Preparation:
Crust:
Cube the potatoes and cauliflower into small pieces and cook them together in little salted water till done/mushy.You can overcook them as it helps mashing easier.Keep aside the water in which they are cooked.

Once done,mash them adding little pepper,and milk.Heat a pan,and melt butter and add remaining milk and also add the mashed items and simmer till all are blended together and become creamy.Our crust is ready.

Filling:
Cut all the vegetables into bite sized pieces.Chop onions finely.Prepare the soya chunks as per package instructions.

Heat little olive oil in a pan.Add onions an saute.As they turn transparent,add the chopped vegetables and chunks and thyme,chilli flakes,oregano,pepper and salt and mix well.Saute for a few minutes till the veggies are well coated and then add little stock/broth/water in which potatoes were cooked/simply fresh water needed to cook the veggies.No need to overcook them as they will complete cooking in the oven.Add flour/cornstarch once done,but are still hot.This will prevent the veg juices if any from flowing out during baking.

Also you can add any preferred spices/seasonings as needed.I addded oregano and chilli flakes as I preferred mine spicy.You can steam the potatoes and cauliflower rather than cooking with water.The steaming option is much healthier.I did not have stock and I wanted the cooking water,so I cooked them in water.

Pie:

Pre heat the oven to 350F.Put the veggies in a greased baking pan in a single layer and pat down with a flat spatula/spoon to form a uniform layer.Top this layer with the mashed potato-cauliflower creamy mixture.DO NOT MIX the two layers.Bake for 25-30 minutes till done.Cut into wedges and serve.
Fresh from the oven..........


On cutting the insides were........

The dish can be taken as a wholesome brunch /main dish,sandwiched between bread slices,side dish or any way as you wish.I enjoyed it as an early evening snack with tea (should I say 'High Tea'?)as well.It was a childhood fantasy come true.


This shepherdess pie is going to British Food Fortnight Challenge which started on 20th September(Click here for details) and is currently hosted by Antonia of Food Glorious Food .

This TVP version is very easy to make.Also check out the lentil version in dear Aparna's blog.Do try both and enjoy a filling meal.

PS: after my 'High Tea' it was late dinner as the pie is very filling.

10 Comments:

Thanks for visiting my Blog

/*TYNT script starts here */ /*TYNT ends */