Mushroom-Leek Shepard’s Pie with Miso Mashed Potatoes
My CSA has been loading me up with pounds and pounds of potatoes every week. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s been a cooler-than-normal summer, but I am in potato overload. Sadly, potatoes are not my favorite.
I don’t dislike them, but they’re not the first thing I want to eat when I think about vegetables. In fact, I could go the rest of my life without another French fry and be just fine. (My friend, Gretchen, probably fainted at that. Her love affair with potatoes is deep and wild and passionate. I must be such a disappointment to the potato lovers of the world…)
Oh, potatoes. What am I to do with you?
I wanted to create something comforting, rich, and delicious. Sometimes you just have to stand with your refrigerator doors open and stare into the void before inspiration strikes. The miso paste caught my eye and an idea began to take shape.
Thus, this vegan shepard’s pie was born. It’s filling, perfectly rich, and satisfying enough to impress guests.
Make this on a rainy day. Then, curl up with a good book, a glass of wine, an afghan, and a purring kitty cat to experience perfection.
- 2.5 pounds Yukon or red potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, diced
- 3 leeks, cut in half and sliced, rinsed thoroughly to remove grit (see Novice Notes for tips on cleaning leeks)
- 2 medium Portobello caps, diced
- 3 thyme clusters
- 1 cluster rosemary
- 1 bouillon cube and 1 cup water OR 1 cup veg broth
- 1 Tbsp miso paste (I prefer white)
- 1/2-2/3 cups nut milk
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1. Fill a large pot with water. Salt generously and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until very soft – 5-7 minutes.
- 2. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook 3-5 minutes until they begin to turn translucent. Add the carrots and cook another 5 minutes. Add the broth/bouillon, leeks, mushrooms, herbs, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking.
- 3. Drain the potatoes, then add the miso and nut milk. Mash until the potatoes are very smooth. Feel free to add additional salt and pepper until you achieve the perfect flavor.
- 4. Remove the stalks of rosemary and thyme from the mushroom mixture. Then, fill a large, round casserole dish with the mushroom-leeks, or spoon the mixture evenly into six individual serving dishes. Spread the mashed potatoes on top. Save any liquid that may have been in the pan with the mushrooms, as it makes an incredible gravy to serve with the pie.
- 5. If your dishes are broil-proof, set them to broil 3-5 minutes keeping a very close eye to avoid burning. You want the tops to brown just a touch. Or, if you have a kitchen torch, fire it up and gently brown the tops of the shepard’s pie.
- 6. Serve with a nice red wine, some of the reserved gravy, and a hefty appetite.
Do NOT pour the leeks into a colander, as the sand will then get back on to your leeks. I learned this the hard way. I had to use the Not Amused face as soon as I realized what I’d done, too.
Instead, use a slotted spoon to scoop the floating leek rings off of the top of the water. Now, they’re ready for cooking, and more importantly, eating!
On the potatoes – the smaller you dice them, the faster they’ll cook. So, you can decide whether you’d like to spend more time chopping or more time waiting for them to cook in the pot. I prefer chopping them finely so that they’re only on the heat for a few minutes. But, you can adjust the recipe based on your personal preference – after all, it’s your kitchen! Make it the way you want. (My inner control freak is cheering wildly right now.)