12 oz of carrots (used 2 medium carrots diced into small bite size pieces
12 oz of Celery root or Celeriac cut into small bite size pieces
16 oz of Leeks white and pale green parts only sliced thin
12 oz of cremini mushrooms sliced
5 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 cups of vegetable stock
15 oz of cooked lentils brown or green (you can use canned also)
1 cup of peas can be frozen or fresh
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
INGREDIENTS FOR MASH POTATOES
2 pounds of Yukon gold
6 cloves of garlic smashed
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tablespoon of chives
1 cup of light coconut milk
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1. Here is the first step of the Vegan Shepherd's pie recipe. I like to use my 13 inch round shallow Dutch oven to cook everything in except the potatoes it makes it an easier clean up but you can use a skillet and transfer everything to your favorite oven safe baking dish. Turn on your burner to medium high add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to your pan when the oil is shimmering hot add the sliced cremini mushrooms. I have 2 tips with mushrooms all the flavor comes from browning the mushrooms only place enough mushrooms to cover the bottom of the pan if you have to work in batches please do so. 2nd tip don't salt your mushrooms until browned because the salt will extract the liquid and the mushrooms will steam and not brown. Time to brown the mushrooms will very between the size of the pan you are using can take 6 to 10 minutes. When all mushrooms are browned remove from pan salt and set aside..
2. Before we start cooking the root vegetables we should have the potatoes in the water and starting to boil. I have great tips on making a flavorful vegan mash potato. First tip we must start with cold water don't place the potatoes in boiling water because they will cook unevenly. The outside of the potato will be done before the inside of the potato. 2nd tip we must infuse flavor while the potatoes are cooking. Add 1 teaspoon of salt the the cold water. Next add 6 smashed garlic cloves to the cold water while the potatoes boil for 15 minutes the garlic clove become sweet just like they were roasted in the oven. Last tip cut all the potatoes the same size so they will all be done at the same time. Lastly add all your potatoes and rosemary sprig to the cold water turn on high heat and when the water boils it should be fork tender in 15 minutes. I like using Yukon gold potatoes for this Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe because of the creaminess of the potatoes.
3. You want to have all your vegetables cut up into bite size pieces. If you never worked with celery root or celeriac before remove the stalks on top cut off the bottom and like a pineapple with your knife remove the thick outer skin to reveal the white center and dice into bite size pieces. One tip celery root does oxidize like a potato once it is peeled. In the same pan if more olive oil is needed add 2 tablespoons reduce to medium heat and add the celery root, carrots and leeks. You want to add salt and pepper to sweat our the leeks you will cook the root vegetables for about 20 minutes depending on the size pieces you cut.
4. While the root vegetables are cooking you should be stirring every few minutes so they don't burn. After 15 minutes add the minced garlic and fresh thyme and rosemary and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. We are waiting to add the herbs and garlic because they would burn and turn bitter if we cooked them for 20 minutes,
5. After 20 minutes of cooking, the root vegetables should be caramelized and tasting delicious. It is time to finish off the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of four the the root vegetables stir to incorporate all the four cook the four for 1 minute, you should not be able to see any white flour. Add the tomato paste stir to combine with the root vegetables then pour in the vegetable stock keep stirring to dissolve all the tomato paste into the stock should take about 1 minute. Then add the cooked lentil, peas and browned mushrooms to the sauce stir to combine everything and turn off the heat You want to taste to test for salt level at this time..
6. I few minutes before the potatoes are finished add the white wine vinegar to the light coconut milk and stir to incorporate and let sit for a few minutes. At this time the potatoes should be finished you can test them by inserting a fork into the potato if the fork slides in and out of the potato with no resistance the potatoes are done. Drain the water off the potatoes and remove the stem of rosemary but keep in the crushed garlic. Add the coconut milk combination to the potatoes and no the potatoes will not taste like coconut milk it will give them a taste of buttermilk mash potatoes. Add your chopped chives and salt and pepper and mash the potatoes to the consistency that you like. Always remember to taste the potatoes if they taste bland then the potatoes need more salt, potatoes loves salt.
7. Add the mashed potatoes on top of the root vegetables sauce. I don't like to smooth it out and make it look pretty, I like to make it look rustic by throwing the potatoes on the sauce and making sure there are hills and valley uneven, so the hills will brown and the valleys will stay lighter as seen in my picture. Place in a pre heated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. If you want the top more brown you can turn the broiler on in the last few minutes of cooking. After removed from oven let sit for 10 minutes to firm up and you can top with extra chives if you want. Sit back and enjoy this comfort food. Enjoy this Vegan Shepherd's Pie Recipe that is healthy and delicious.