Meatless Shepherd's Pie

Saturday, January 5, 2013


As the weather turns colder and we enter deeper into the winter (although it is comforting to know that minutes of sunlight are no longer disappearing and are slowly beginning to trickle back) comfort food is definitely on the menu around these parts. Sometimes it takes the form of savory pies.


I made this meatless version of shepherd's pie with leeks and a mix of different mushrooms instead of the lamb or beef, combined together with a splash of red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and some vegetarian stock. I used portabella, shiitake, button and oyster mushrooms, which provided a nice texture and a complex flavor. For the top, I added some rutabagas to the potatoes for added flavor.


Traditionally made with minced or ground lamb, this English dish is called cottage pie when made with ground beef. Sometimes the vegetarian version of it is referred to as "Shepherdless Pie," but I am operating under the assumption that the original recipe did not call for any shepherds, just their flock. And so I still like to call this a shepherd's pie, perhaps one reserved for those occasions where the shepherd brought back a sack full of different mushrooms that he or she gathered on the way home.


This dish is very filling, flavorful, and "meaty" despite being meatless as a result of the mushrooms and the flavor of the seasonings, sure to please shepherds and non-shepherds alike.

Note: I added a bit of flour to the mushrooms to help thicken the mixture, however it can be omitted if you are looking for a gluten-free option; instead, simmer the mushrooms for a few more minutes to reduce the liquid.

Serving suggestion: serve with wassail.

Meatless Shepherd's Pie
Serves 6-8

You will need:
4 small gold potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 small rutabagas, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium leeks, rinsed and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 lb assorted mushrooms (e.g. portabella, shiitake, oyster, button), sliced
1/4 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 dried bay leaf
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup soy milk

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a pinch of salt. Add the potatoes and rutabagas and boil until the vegetables are soft, 25-30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the leeks, shallot, and garlic, and sauté until leeks begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the liquid that mushrooms give off begins to evaporate, 5-8 minutes. Add the red wine, cook for about 1 minute, then add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Add bay leaf and Worcestershire sauce. Mix flour with about 1/8 cup water (to avoid clumping) and add to the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn off the heat and stir in parsley and chives.
3. When the potatoes and rutabagas are done, drain and mash with a masher. Stir in the soy milk until absorbed and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. To assemble and bake the pie, spoon the mushrooms onto the bottom of a round ceramic pie dish (10 inches in diameter), and top with the mashed potatoes and rutabagas. With a fork, make small peaks in the mashed root vegetables so that the top will brown nicely. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the juices are bubbling and the top is lightly browned. Serve.


  1. Cottage pie is so common here, and I could eat it all the time. This version is so good looking! The rutabagas are perfect with potatoes and the mushrooms. Love it Kat!

  2. You are a genius! It looks hearty and delicious. Definitely a keeper.

  3. This looks so inviting...and lovely and warming...perfect for the wintery weather! I quite like the name 'Shepherdless Pie' :-)

  4. This looks great! I think I'd end up making a bunch of little pies and stashing them all in the freezer for instant emergency dinner. :)

  5. Hi Kat,

    Greeting from Australia!

    Your meatless pie look wonderful and hope to try this recipe when our winter arrive in June.

    Nice to know you via blogging. I'm following you now via Twitter and blogger :D


  6. As an English girl I love that you made a shepherd's pie. :) Lovely to see a meat free version too. I love the mix of mushrooms. Looks perfect for winter, warm and comforting.

  7. Mmmmmm. Today was an unseasonably cool summer day and, so, I totally would've eaten this. Instead I cooked up some mixed vegies (broccoli, snow peas, cauliflower, carrots, peas), sauteed till ready, added Szechuan sauce and had it with pasta and oodles of parmesan. It hit the spot. That Szechuan sauce is really spicy, though. Heh.

  8. Oooh, I'm so excited to try this one! I just tinkered around with a meatless quinoa loaf, and it fell short. This looks like the perfect vegetarian entree!


  9. Wow! Made this tonight and it was amazing. Doubled the veggie broth cause I was out of wine and added a bit more Worcestershire. The Rutabaga addition makes the spuds taste amazing. Used Coconut Milk instead of soy. Love Love Love! Very Yummilishious!



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