Friday, February 26, 2010

Easy Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I cooked up a storm today with the help of my beloved David and I thought I’d do a food blog on a yummy tasty supper that’s very easy to make and leaves one quite satisfied. My mother used to make Shepherd’s Pie all the time when I was a kid and I loved it! Being a vegetarian isn’t always easy when you want to enjoy some good ol’ comfort food from way back in the day and so I’ve decided to upgrade my mom’s Shepherd’s Pie and give it a vegetarian twist that any meat eater would enjoy. Just ask my David, he loves it!

Easy Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie


-1/2 of a large onion
-2 green onions
-A drizzle of olive oil (for frying pan)
-2 packs (312g each) of veggie ground round in original flavour.
-2 cans of whole kernel corn (or even frozen or fresh, what ever you have)
-5-7 large russet potatoes (depending on how little/much you like)
-3 TBS of butter
-1/4 cup of milk
-a pinch of salt

Peel your potatoes and cut into chunks (this will make your potatoes cook faster). Put your potatoes in a pot, cover with water, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Once your water begins to boil, bring down the temperature slightly and keep cooking until tender or until you’re able to put a fork through them.  
Meanwhile, finely dice your onions and green onions and set aside.  
When potatoes are reaching their desired softness, drizzle a bit of olive oil onto a frying pan. Once the pan is hot, add your onions and cook until they start to brown then add you green onions. 
Cook for about an additional 2 minutes then add your veggie ground round and mix it well with your onions and cook until heated through (approx. 4-5 minutes).
Drain your potatoes, and bring the pot back to the oven. Put the temperature to low and add your milk and butter and begin to mash while on stove, as the heat will help make the mashed potatoes nice and creamy.  Sometimes I find that while I’m mashing that I need more butter, milk or even a dash of salt so don’t be afraid to add more, just make sure to taste your mash; you’ll know what’s missing. You want to make sure that they’re nice and flavorful and then set aside.
In a square baking dish (I used one that was 8x8 inches) begin to layer by putting your cooked veggie ground round evenly on the bottom. 
Open and drain your cans of corn and evenly layer it over the veggie ground round layer.
The next layer is obviously your mashed potatoes, however this can be kinda tricky as you smooth the potatoes over the corn; you want to keep both layers separate but the potatoes can be slightly evil and decide that they want to mix with the corn.  A good trick for this is to put big dollups of your mash unto different areas of your dish until you’re out of mash and then begin to smooth is out as a thicker layer of mash means that it’s less likely to mix with the corn. If you do mix, it’s not a big deal, it just looks better when it’s layered properly.
Set your oven to 350F. While your oven is warming up, I like to spread a bit of butter on top of the mashed potatoes so that while you cook them, the top browns nicely and gives it a slight crunchy topping. Put your dish in the oven for about 15 minutes until it is heated through. You don’t need to keep it in very long as everything is already cooked.

Last and final step, set your over to broil for about 5 minutes until your potatoes slightly turn golden brown, then take out of the oven, serve and enjoy!
You can also make this recipe ahead of time, even the night before. Just make sure you refrigerate it and then when you want to eat it, put into the oven for a nice warm meal.

Hope you enjoy this, I tried to make the directions as simple as possible so that even the most unexperienced (ahem David ahem) can make this!


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