Shepherdless Pie

Just when I though things were starting to get back to normal I caught a cold. I was in bed for most of last week and did not have the energy to post anything. It did give me time to come up with some great recipe ideas and today I am putting one of those up.

The title of this dish may be a bit odd but there is a reason behind it. I was explaining what I had made to someone and was trying to say “a meatless shepherds pie” but instead it came out as shepherdless pie and the name took, so now anytime I make shepherds pie without meat I shall be calling it that.

It also happened to be St. Patricks Day and shepherds pie is Irish so it only made sense to post this recipe today. Shepherds pie was traditionally made with whatever meat and vegetable leftovers were found but over time has become a well loved family recipe and proud menu item in many pubs around the world.

To continue with the theme of Irish food I decided to turn the regular potato mash into colcannon. Colcannon is simply mashed potatoes mixed with green onion and cabbage or kale, the latter is what I used. Not only does it add more vegetables it also makes for a lovely topping to the pie, the green of the kale speckled throughout the mash.

To keep this a hearty and filling meal I used two types of legumes, lentils and split peas. Both are excellent sources of fibre and protein. Added to this were mushrooms for a “meaty” texture and traditional vegetable found in shepherds pie: carrots, onion and celery.

This is a relatively easy dish to make and is perfect for freezing or to make a large version to feed many people. Its filling, flavourful and well liked by all ages. Making this meatless and dairyless is just another way of making a family favourite something a bit different but still enjoyable.

Sheperdless Pie
  • 8-10 Potatoes
  • 4 Tbsp vegan butter
  • ½ Cup rice milk
  • 2 Cups kale, chopped
  • ½ Cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Leek, diced
  • 3 Carrots, sliced
  • 1 Stalk celery, diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10  Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1½ Cup split peas
  • ½ Cup lentil, red
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce
  • 2 Cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tsp rosemary
  • Pepper and Salt, to taste
  1. In large bowl add chopped kale and enough boiled water to cover. Cover with a lid and let sit ten minutes. Drain and set to side.
  2. Chop potatoes into smaller shapes and place in a large pot, fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to medium high heat. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until they are soft.
  3. Drain water, add to bowl with kale. Use a masher or large fork to mash potatoes until smooth. Add vegan butter and rice milk and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and add in green onions. Loosely cover and set aside.
  4. In another pot cook split peas and lentils until al dente. Drain any excess water and set to side.
  5. In a large pan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned and caramelized. Add all vegetables and lightly season with salt and pepper, cook covered for a further 10 minutes or until carrots are just turning soft.
  6. Add split peas and lentils to vegetables. Add broth, herbs and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until split peas and lentils are tender about 35-40 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  8. Transfer split pea mixture to a baking dish and carefully top with colcannon (potatoes). Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little salt.
  9. Place on a baking sheet to catch overflow and bake for 20 minutes, or until the colcannon is browned on top. Let cool before serving.
  10. Store in the refrigerator for one week or freeze for 2 months.


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