A good Shepherd's Pie is the definition of comfort. The combination of creamy mashed potatoes with a hearty stew makes for delicious eating on a cold night. Having dabbled with a vegetarian diet, I challenged myself to make an equally sastifying version of a Sheperd's pie sans the meat. I found this recipe to be just as delicious (and quite a bit healthier) than the original. It could be served as a side dish to your holiday meal or on its on to warm you on a cold winter's night. —stirfrei
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes
yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed well, skins on
parsnips, medium diced
medium sized onions, medium diced
celery, medium diced
carrots, peeled and medium diced
Brussels sprouts, stems removed and halved
Fill a large pot with water and the potatoes. Place the potatoes in the water and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until tender. While potatoes are cooking, you can work on the rest of the stew.
Meanwhile, cook the parsnips in a pot of salted water until soft. Puree in a food processor.
Once the potatoes are done cooking, peel the skin off and mash with a ricer, potato masher, or fork. Mix with parsnip puree.
Melt the cream, butter, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon together and add to the potatoes and the parsnip mixture. Potatoes should be thick and fluffy enough to sit on top of the stew.
Preheat oven to 400?F.
Blanch Brussels sprouts in a pot of salted boiling water just long enough to par-cook them, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Melt the butter in a large cast iron pot (or large saute pan, stew can be added to casserole dish before baking in oven.) Add about 1/3 of the onions, carrots, celery, and turnips and carmelize over high heat, about 4 - 5 minutes. Repeat 2 more times and carmelize the rest of the veggies. Return veggies to the pot and add minced ginger, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and blanched Brussels sprouts and sauté one minute longer.
Add the wine and reduce over high heat until almost all of it has evaporated. Add flour and cook for one minute. Pour in vegetable stock and cook for a few minutes until stock has slightly reduced. The sauce will continue to thicken in the oven.
Spread mashed potatoes evenly over stew. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the potatoes have browned and the sauce has thickened. Eat and enjoy!