Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

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Vegan Shepherds Pie

A blanket of creamy potatoes and chestnuts covering delicious vegetables, what could be bad about that?

Chestnuts are an unexpected ingredient here but really make the dish. They are creamy and nuttty (almost smoky flavored) and add a little je ne sais quoi (a certain something) that takes the dish from good to stellar. Once browned, the chestnuts become deep, brown morsels of yumminess.

(For Jewish food history buffs: There is a history of the Italian Jewish community eating chestnuts during Pesach in charoset and other dishes.)

Shepherd’s Pie can be made ahead of time and stored, covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or frozen for 1 month. Leftovers can be stored covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6+Servings

Ingredients

Vegetables

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, sliced
  • 1 leek (white parts only), washed and sliced
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1½ pounds)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ⅓ cup white wine

Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Chestnuts

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into medium dice
  • 10 ounces roasted chestnuts (jarred product), rough chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Vegetables:

1. Grease a 9- x 13-inch pan with evoo.

2. Heat a large sauté pan, lightly coated with evoo, over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, leeks, carrots, mushrooms, and squash in batches until golden brown. Be sure to season each batch with salt and pepper.

3. Add garlic toward the end of last batch of vegetables so that it doesn't burn. Sauté garlic with vegetables for just 2 to 3 minutes until it begins to soften. Add wine to deglaze the pan and allow wine to evaporate by half.

4. Toss sautéed vegetables with parsley, thyme, lemon zest and tomato paste. Transfer vegetables to greased pan.

Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Chestnuts:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

2. Heat a Dutch oven, lightly coated with evoo, over medium heat. Sweat shallots and garlic until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, chestnuts, and just enough water to barely cover potatoes.

3. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are very creamy and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

4. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes and chestnuts until a creamy puree is formed, adding additional evoo if necessary. If potatoes are very wet, reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently to evaporate water. Season with salt and pepper. 

5. Pile potato puree on top of vegetables and smooth down the surface. Drizzle with evoo and bake at 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned and vegetables are bubbly.