Want to make a gluten-free vegan shepherd’s pie but don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes, and don’t want to go through the trouble of making mashed potatoes just for shepherd’s pie (also known as “cottage pie”)? After all, isn’t the whole purpose of shepherd pie to use up leftovers, or at least to be able to easily throw something together without having to, you know, cut, boil, and mash potatoes? Well our “inside-out” vegan shepherd’s pie is just what you need, and it’s naturally gluten-free too!
Now, we use TVP (textured vegetable protein, i.e. soy crumbles) to make this, as it really closely approximates the texture and appearance of the ground beef (i.e. hamburger meat) typically used to make shepherd’s pie. Our favorite TVP (in fact the only one we use) is Anthony’s organic TVP (<-- Amazon link) both because it is organic (which we really care about for soy products as, for one thing, it means that it isn't GMO), and because the only ingredient is that organic soy. Plus, it cooks up really nicely and has zero unwanted flavor or aftertaste. That said, you can really use any protein you want in there (chopped up tofu, crumbled up tempeh, broken up soy curls, etc., or any one of a number of the vegan ‘beef’ crumbles that are on the market). But the textured vegetable protein or other crumbles are the most authentic.
Our secret ingredient (shhhh…) is instant coffee powder. You don’t have to include this, but it gives those crumbles a real depth of flavor and a rich brown color, both of which take it to the next level.
TVP Rehydrated with Coffee for Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
The nice thing about making a shepherd’s pie is that you can really throw just about anything that you want in there. While there are purists who will insist that a traditional shepherd’s pie has only ground meat, peas, carrots, and maybe some corn, topped with mashed potatoes, we’re already breaking with tradition by making a shepherd’s pie without meat. And making it inside out. For this particular shepherd’s pie we used peas and mushrooms along with the TVP crumbles.
Speaking of which, the reason that we call this an ‘inside out’ shepherd’s pie is because instead of topping it with mashed potatoes, we top it with rehydrated potato shreds (like the Idaho Spuds brand that come in the blue carton at Costco). Once you have rehydrated the potato shreds, you can mash them if you want to (then it will be regular shepherd’s pie instead of inside-out shepherd’s pie), or, like we do, you can just dump them on top of the shepherd’s pie filling, smooth them down, and be done with it. When you dish it up to serve it, the potatoes will end up mixed in with the rest of the filling instead of in a layer of mashed potatoes on top, and that’s your “inside out”! :~)
Easy Inside-Out Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
1 cup dry textured vegetable protein (TVP) or other protein equaling 2 cups when ready to use
1 teaspoon instant coffee powder (optional)
1 carton Idaho Spuds or other dried hash browns (enough to make 3 cups when rehydrated) OR 3 cups thawed frozen hash browns
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup peas (canned or frozen and thawed)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 Tablespoon vegan worcestershire sauce (we like either Wizard’s or Annie’s) (optional)
1 envelope Road’s End gluten-free vegan shitake gravy mix (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375°. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray or grease with a thin layer of olive oil.
Rehydrate the TVP with enough hot water to just cover the TVP. If using the instant coffee (which we really do recommend) mix that into the hot water and TVP.
Rehydrate the dried shredded potato (hash browns) with just enough hot water to cover.
While things are rehydrating, heat the olive oil in a pan, and sauté the onion and garlic until just translucent. Remove from heat.
Dump all of the ingredients except the potato shreds into the casserole dish and mix well. If you are using the gravy mix, just dump the powder into the casserole along with everything else.
Spread the rehydrated potato shreds in a layer on top of the casserole, and smooth them out, using a bit of pressure, with the back of a large spoon. Or, if you want to, you can put them in a bowl with a bit of unsweetened plant milk and vegan butter and actually turn them into mashed potatoes, and then spread them on top of the casserole – your choice.
Place on center rack in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the potatoes start to brown just a tiny bit on top. Remove from oven and enjoy.
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