Folks, it’s cold outside. Okay, perhaps you’re not feeling the chill if you’re a) in a different part of the country/world (a/k/a not in a New England state …) or b) immune to cold weather. As for me, I’m a wimp when it comes to the cold. Yes, I love Autumn—it’s my favorite season—however, when the morning temperatures are a fraction or two above freezing . . . well, that’s just not right. So to thwart the drop in temperature, I put my husband to work in the kitchen to whip up this weeks’ Meatless Monday wonder. Actually, he volunteered to cook for me. Wasn’t that sweet of him?
Today’s recipe originated from The Meat Free Monday Cookbook, however, my husband Maarten altered it somewhat (a few deletions, a couple of additions) for convenience, ease of cooking and flavor profile. This Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie is a wonderful meatless take on the original. It speaks to comfort food and is a filling addition to any Meatless Monday repertoire.
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
- 3/4 c. green peas
- 6 Tbsp. butter
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves OR 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp. ground mace
- 1/3 c. vegetable stock
- sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 1 packet dry vegetable soup mix (try Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Recipe Soup & Dip Mix)
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
- 1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 c. cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Put green peas in a pan and cover with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until peas absorb most of the water and are softened (@40 minutes). Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the red onions, carrots and garlic; cook until softened. Stir in and peas. Add thyme, mace, cayenne pepper and vegetable stock; season with salt and pepper. Spoon mixture into a large baking dish. Sprinkle dry vegetable soup mix across mixture and arrange sliced tomatoes in a layer on top.
Boil the potatoes until tender; remove from heat, drain and mash with 2 tablespoons of butter. Soften the onion in 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into the mashed potatoes. Add grated cheese and milk. Season with salt and pepper; spoon potato mixture on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle panko bread crumbs over entire mixture.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden.