Guest Author - Jason Hodge
Shepherd's pie is one of those 'stick to your bones' meals that truly can be a one item dish, that's not only filling, but, in some instances, downright dangerous. [I mean that in a good way!]
I remember, in my earlier years when I first tasted a bonafide shepherd's pie. I was sure that I was in the happiest place on earth. No, not Disneyland. The dinner table! It was like the perfect hybridization and combination of flavor, texture and color.
It was mashed potatoes and gravy meets smothered veggies and meatloaf. Oh, I'm salivating just reminiscing about it right now!
Well... I don’t give up easy and I didn't see a good enough reason to start with one of my many favorites, so I modified the recipe and I'm going to tell you how to do the same.
You’re basically working with three dishes rolled or layered, for that matter, into one. It's like meat and potatoes lasagna or something along those lines.
I start out using tofu and brown that up with caramelized onions, chipotle powder, peppers, garlic, seasonings and a hint of tomato paste in coconut or olive oil. I reserve it to the side in a bowl for later.
On a baking sheet I place some cleaned, chopped and dill weed sauteed carrots that I finish off in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 - 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, I scrub quarter and simmer my potatoes [Yukon Golds], until done, in a seasoned leek broth, rice them and stir in garlic and rosemary infused coconut milk and set aside.
Lastly, I make gravy, that I add garlic, onions, broccoli, peas, and mushrooms, just before assembly.
I'm telling you… this is serious business here!
Here's how I assemble it all…
In a lasagna pan, I put the tofu mixture on the bottom, and then I add the roasted carrots and gravy with veggies. With a wooden spoon, I do a quick random partial stir and I finish off by spooning the mashed potatoes over everything. I cover it and pop it into the preheated oven to bake for 35 minutes covered and 15 uncovered [or just enough to give a buttery golden brown to the dish. I remove it from the oven and let it cool and set for about 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
Good is not the word! This is AWESOME! Try it out and let me know what you think. It makes a great dish to serve to family and clients alike.
Gluten-free gravy recipe, go here!
As always, it's my pleasure sharing with you these concepts and techniques. Until next time...