Curried Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Oh, where to start with this one? My potatoes took a LONG time to cook. Not sure why. I should have tested them with a fork before I started mashing them. It was nice eating veggies we don’t normally eat, like rutabagas and turnips, but this dish was just not worth all of this effort. I feel cheated. And husband announced that he “is over leeks”.

rating: 5

Curried Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
(Food Network magazine, March 2016)

serves 6
time needed: 1 hour 15 min.


2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
2 carrots, chopped
1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced 1/2 inch thick, rinsed well
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup frozen peas
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons curry powder


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a separate large saucepan with 6 cups water; add the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots, rutabaga, turnip and leeks; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid, then drain the vegetables. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Pat the vegetables dry; set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms; cook until they release their liquid, 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium; cook until the liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, coriander and nutmeg; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved cooking liquid and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Bring to a simmer; cook until thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot mixture, peas and lemon zest and juice. Return to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and stir in the parsley.
Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly. Return to the pot and add the curry powder and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and mash well.
Spread the mushroom mixture in a 3-quart baking dish. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top; spread with the back of a spoon. Bake until bubbling around the edges and the topping is browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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