Well it's about time we do that St. Patrick's Day thing and get festive around here - don't you think? In brainstorming a few ideas, this is the one I kept coming back to because it's something I would totally make any time of year and love.
I mean really, what's not to like about about a rich layer of mushrooms and vegetables covered by parmesan mashed potatoes and broiled until crispy on top? This my be my new favorite comfort food.
Traditional Shepherd's Pie calls for lamb, and while I really like the flavor of lamb it can be pricey and a little bit more labor intensive than the route I took. When it came to finding a viable replacement, I went with mushrooms for the texture (and because I pretty much love them in everything). I came across a bagged frozen blend of white, shiitake and portobello which worked really well and added great flavor. You can use any type you like though.
The first thing you'll want to do is get the potatoes boiling because it takes a while. Russets work the best for mashed potatoes because of the high starch content, so just peel, chop and throw them in a large stock pot. Cover with water, season with a pinch or two of salt and turn the heat on high to bring the water to a boil. In the mean time you can get going with your vegetables (which is the best part, but then again I may be biased).
To jazz things up, I used tri-color carrots because they add the most beautiful pop of color. You'll also need the usual suspects: onion, celery and garlic.
Now making something sans meat or meat-based broth usually means you need to get a little creative to replace that rich flavor. I used a brown ale as a deglazing liquid and it worked really well. This can totally be swapped with your favorite darker beer, or if you don't drink or have any on hand, feel free to use broth instead.
Once all of your separate components are complete, assembly is super easy and it only cooks in the oven for five minutes. The result is delicious and silky and all those good things.
Veggies on the bottom, potatoes on the top.
I hope you get "lucky" with all of your cooking endeavors this week. Enjoy!
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 2 Tbsp butter (divided)
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 large carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup dark beer (or veggie broth)
- 10 oz mushroom blend, sliced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- to taste salt and pepper
recipe adapted from: The Food Network