16 January 2012

make it vegan

An unopened package of frozen peas makes a great ice pack because all the little peas adjust themselves to settle around whatever ache or pain you are trying to keep cool. An opened package of frozen peas is food. 

Well Connor accidentally wrapped himself around a tree while snowboarding last Saturday so he is laid up with a broken fibula, playing nineties video games. He asked me to make a veggie version of shepard's pie (because he had a craving and was smart enough to ask for a version that I would be able to eat also) and how can I say "no" to the poor injured chap?

This is the plan:

4 floury potatoes (i.e. not potatoes with waxy skin, get yourself some russets) - peeled and cubed
1 onion - nicely diced 
1 cup sliced brown button mushrooms 
4 carrots - chopped into pea-sized pieces
1 cup frozen corn 
1 cup frozen peas 
1/4 - 1/2 cup vegetable broth (depends, start with a 1/4 and increase according to how thick or thin you like your mashed potatoes) 
1 package YVES veggie ground round (original flavour) 
2 tablespoons olive oil  
3/4 cup red wine or more veggie stock 
dried thyme
dried rosemary

For this culinary endeavour, I will be using one pot and one dutch oven. The dutch oven is for the pie and the pot is for boiling things that will then go into the pie. 

Preheat your oven to 350 F. 

In a pot (I warned you), boil some water, add your fresh chopped carrots and boil for 1-2 minutes (until softened but not mushy). During the last 30 seconds of this procedure, add your frozen corn and peas. Remove from heat. Drain. And quickly run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Take that very same pot and fill it again with water. Once a boil is achieved, add cubed potatoes to water. Once boiled, drain the water and mash the potatoes, using the vegetable stock instead of butter to soften the potatoes to the consistency you personally enjoy. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary.

Meanwhile... in a dutch oven, sautee the onion and mushrooms in some olive oil on medium heat until the onions go translucent. Add ground round, salt, pepper, paprika and a pinch more thyme and rosemary. Mix the ground round well in with the onions and mushrooms and add wine or stock. Keep on the heat until it just barely starts to bubble (or if my calculations of ingredients have not added up for you, keep on a low boil to let some of the wine/stock evaporate until it is moist but not soupy).

Flatten down the ground round, onion, and mushroom mixture into an even layer in your dutch oven (secret: any oven-proof dish will work) and top with the carrots, peas, and corn. Then top THAT with your awesome mashed potatoes. Put in the oven until the potato layer starts to brown (approximately 15 - 20 minutes)

Feed to broken boyfriend. 

Image from Google Images.

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