Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie

This was casserole was truly a one-dish meal. It is so loaded with vegetables, I didn’t feet the need to serve it with a salad or other green on the side. 🙂 We enjoyed it as our celebratory St. Patrick’s Day dinner this year. The “meaty” combination of lentils and mushrooms in this dish made my meat-loving family members happy. Don’t worry… they had corned beef sandwiches for lunch too.

My riced-potato topped casserole was filled with lentils, mushrooms, fresh herbs, as well as roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and carrots. The sauce was flavored with dried porcini mushrooms, wine, onions, and loads of garlic. It was fabulously saucy with layers of rich flavor.

This recipe was adapted from Bon Appetit. Next time, I would prepare the components of the dish a day in advance, as much as possible. The potato topping would ideally be prepared in advance at the very least. This delicious dish was absolutely worth the work and the wait! Great.

Yield: Serves 8 to 10

For the Topping:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, unpeeled
  • 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
  • about 3/4 to 1 cup milk (I used 1 percent)
  • coarse salt

For the Filling:

  • Âľ cup brown or French green lentils
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 17 garlic cloves, divided
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I incorporated 4 cups homemade Turkey Stock)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce or 2 tablespoons white miso
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 cups ½-inch pieces peeled fall/winter vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips) (I used 1 medium butternut squash, 1 head of cauliflower, & 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed, halved
  • 2 4-inch sprigs rosemary
  • 10 oz (about 2 cups) bite-size pieces mixed fresh mushrooms (I used sliced cremini & white button mushrooms)
  • ÂĽ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, chives, and sage)

To Make the Topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°, preferably on convection.
  2. Bake potatoes on a foil or parchment-lined baking sheet until tender, about 40 minutes for the gold potatoes and 1 hour for the russet potatoes.
  3. Let cool slightly, then peel.
  4. Press potatoes through a ricer, food mill, or colander into a large bowl.
  5. Add butter; stir until well blended.
  6. Stir in milk until desired consistency is achieved.
  7. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.

DO AHEAD: Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool, press plastic wrap directly onto potatoes, and chill.

To Prepare the Lentils:

  1. Combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–25 minutes.
  3. Drain lentils and discard garlic. Set aside.

To Make the Sauce:

  1. Soak dried porcini in 3 cups hot water; set aside.
  2. Heat 3 T olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. (I used an enameled cast iron Dutch oven.)
  3. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add 10 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes.
  6. Add bay leaves and wine; stir, scraping up any browned bits.
  7. Stir in porcini, slowly pouring porcini soaking liquid into pan but leaving any sediment behind.
  8. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
  9. Stir in broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Strain mixture into a large bowl with a spout. Discard the solids.
  11. Wipe Dutch oven clean and returned strained sauce to pot; bring to a boil. (I had 5 cups of strained sauce.)
  12. Stir cornstarch and 3 T water in a small bowl to dissolve.
  13. Add cornstarch mixture to hot sauce; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  14. Whisk in soy sauce/miso.
  15. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To Make the Vegetable Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°, preferably on convection roast.
  2. Toss vegetables and pearl onions with remaining 2 T oil, 6 garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs in a large bowl or on 2 parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheets; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide evenly between the 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, stirring once, until tender, 20–25 minutes.
  4. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl; mash well with a fork and stir into sauce.
  5. Discard rosemary.

DO AHEAD: Lentils, sauce, and vegetables can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.

To Finish the Dish:

  1. Arrange lentils in an even layer in a 3-qt. baking dish; set dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Toss roasted vegetables with fresh mushrooms and chopped herbs; layer on top of lentils.
  3. Pour sauce over vegetables.
  4. Spoon potato mixture evenly over. Swirl decoratively.
  5. Bake at 425°, preferably on convection, until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process.
  6. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

I’m sharing my St. Patrick’s Day feast at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #163 this week. Enjoy!!

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Shepherd’s Chicken Pot Pie

I’m not a corned beef and cabbage person. It’s okay! I bought some corned beef at Trader Joe’s so that my husband and son could make their St. Patrick’s Day sandwiches for lunch. 🙂

and…

Although I love a one-dish complete meal, I am also not a Shepherd’s pie person. Ugh. (I’m really not a picky eater!) But, when I saw this Shepherd’s pie twist on a chicken pot pie, I knew it would be the perfect “Irish” meal to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. We ate it with roasted asparagus and green salad- just to add some celebratory green to our meal. Great comfort food!

This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Scott Hocker. I increased both the chicken and garlic and modified the roasting temperature and time in order to coordinate with my roasted asparagus. I loved Hocker’s description of this dish as “a complete meal in every bite.”

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Total Time: 1 hour

For the Potatoes:

  • 2 pounds baking potatoes (I used 3 russet potatoes)
  • coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, cut into chunks or chopped in a food processor
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • fresh parsley, for garnish, optional

Make the Potatoes:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks. In a large pot, cover the potatoes with warm, salted water, then bring to a boil.
  2. Boil until the potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes, then mash them with the milk, butter, and salt to taste.
  4. Reserve the mashed potatoes.

Make the Filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. (I used the convection roast setting.)
  2. Chop the garlic in a food processor, followed by the onion and then the carrots.
  3. In a large cast-iron or heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat until hot, then stir in the onion, garlic, carrots, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the flour and cook, until incorporated, about 2 minutes.
  6. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then stir in the chicken. Cook until desired thickness is achieved.
  7. Season the filling with salt and pepper to taste.

Complete the Dish:

  1. Transfer the filling to a 3-quart baking dish. (I used a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish.)
  2. Spread the potatoes evenly over top of the filling.
  3. Bake the shepherd’s pie pot pie in the preheated oven until the potatoes are browned in spots and the filling is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parsley, if desired.

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