Miso Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie
The humble Shepherd’s Pie is a classic British dinner. Here’e I’ve given it a plant based makeover thanks to miso and mushrooms! Get the recipe below.
What is a shepherd’s pie, anyway?
Shepherd’s Pie is a traditional British dish that I have enjoyed for years. It’s traditionally made with lamb mince and is then topped with fluffy mashed potato. It is sometimes confused with a cottage pie which is very similar but made with beef mince. Both shepherd’s and cottage pies will also often have onion, carrots and peas mixed in with the mince.
A vegetarian or vegan alternative
Of course neither a shepherd’s pie or a cottage pie are not suitable for vegetarians or vegans as a result of the mince meat that is used in the filling. (Though the gravy, onions and other British vegetables are!)
Whilst there are a lot of vegetarian and vegan mince alternatives on the market, I wanted to come up with a recipe that didn’t reply on these processed meat substitutes. I’ve recently learnt that a soy allergy is a real issue for people switching to a plant based diet because it’s in so many meat substitutes! Instead, for this recipe I’ve use a combination of puy lentils, mushrooms and miso. That way it should be suitable for everyone as it is egg, meat, dairy and soy-free!
The filling of this vegetarian shepherds pie is very easy to make. I start by sweating white onion and diced carrot. Once these have softened I add chopped mushrooms, pre-cooked puy lentils, garlic, tomato puree and a teaspoon of red miso. The red miso is really the key to a rich, meaty flavour. It’s got that umami flavour that it can be hard to replicate in vegetarian and vegan cooking.
Once the vegetables have all softened and begun to cook, I let them simmer away in vegetable stock before seasoning with salt, pepper and dried mixed herbs. Thickened with a little cornflour this becomes a rich, flavoursome gravy! (No one wants a dry pie).
Dairy free mashed potato
If you’re vegetarian then you can make the mashed potato with cow’s milk and butter. But if, like me, you follow a plant based diet then simply swap them for your favourite non-dairy alternatives. I like to use oat milk or soy milk. Flora is my non-dairy butter of choice! If you’re being really decadent than Elmlea plant based cream makes for a really rich mash potato!
Whether you use dairy or not, the secret to a smooth, creamy mash is to make sure the potatoes are properly cooked and then to beat them with an electric whisk. Yes, you head me right. I don’t use a potato masher or a potato ricer, I beat my potatoes with an electric whisk. The result is a creamy, light, fluffy mash.
Using a piping bag and nozzle to top the pie with mash isn’t essential but it does make for a pretty pie!
Miso Mushroom Shepherd’s Pie (dairy and soy-free)
- 4 potatoes peeled and quartered
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large carrots peeled and diced
- 250 grams mushrooms roughly chopped
- 250 grams puy lentils pre-cooked
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp red miso paste
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 1 tbsp mixed herbs dried
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 150 grams peas frozen
- 75 ml non-dairy milk e.g. soy milk or oat milk
- 3 tbsp non-dairy butter e.g. Flora or Naturli
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place the potatoes into a pan hot boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes or until they are soft.
- Drain the potatoes and leave in the hot pan (off the heat of the hob) so that any leftover moisture evaporates.
- In the meantime, heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the onions and carrots with the pinch of salt.
- Cook the onion and carrot for 8 – 10 minutes or until they have softened.
- Add the mushrooms, lentils and garlic to the pan and cook for another 8 – 10 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and any additional moisture has begun to cook off.
- Add the tomato puree, miso paste, cornflour and mixed herbs then stir until well combined. You want to avoid the cornflour forming any lumps.
- Pour in the vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
- In the meantime, mash the potatoes along with the non-dairy milk and butter. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- Stir the frozen peas into the miso mushroom mix before transferring to an oven dish.
- Top with the mashed potatoes (using a piping bag with a star nozzle to create a pretty pattern) until the whole pie is covered.
- Place into the oven at 180C / 356F / gas mark 4 for 10-15 minutes until the gravy is bubbling and the top is browned and crispy.
More delicious dinner recipes
Head to my dinner recipe archive for more main courses that will satisfy even the fussiest of eaters!