Ahhh, that crisp fall chill is in the morning air. How it does inspire me to whip up comforting dishes and start baking!
Question: What are you favorite fall foods? Do you crave more sweet or savory goodies?
When I was a kid, my mama used to make a mean shepherd’s pie! Hers was a more traditional version, with ground beef and cheddar cheese that crisped up just right under the oven broiler.
After I became a vegetarian, I started searching for meatless versions of all of the foods that I loved growing up. I have been making this Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie from Food & Wine magazine for a few years now. The creamy mashed potatoes are rich enough that you don’t miss the meat.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 pounds baking potatoes (about 4), peeled and cut into large pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 cups sliced mixed winter vegetables, such as celery, turnips, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, fennel, cabbage, or celery root
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them back into the saucepan along with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper. Mash the potatoes over very low heat, gradually incorporating the cream and 4 tablespoons of the butter. Cover and set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sliced mixed vegetables, carrots, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer. Cook over moderate heat, covered, until the vegetables start to soften, 5 to 10 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to moderately high, and cook until the vegetables are tender and almost no liquid remains in the pan, about 10 minutes longer.
- Heat the broiler. Transfer the vegetables to a 9-inch pie plate, spread the potatoes over the top, and broil until lightly browned, about 5 – 7 minutes.
Note: Some broilers work much more quickly than others, so keep an eye on your dish while its under the broiler so it doesn’t burn!!