Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Spring Shepard’s Pie with Tempeh, Asparagus, Sweet Peas and Beer

  • 4 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • splash of milk/cream/soymilk
  • 3 Tbsp butter/margarine
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese, completely optional
  • 1 8oz block tempeh cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 bottle of beer*
  • (2) veggie bullion cubes
  • olive oil
  • 3 leeks, well washed and sliced
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, sliced diagonally into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper

*try a nice flavorful ale or wheat beer. I think it would work less well with a dark stout or porter or anything too light like a lager, but it’s casserole and your call.

Start by making your mash potatoes. Make them whatever way you like them but in case you don’t have a favorite way, here’s an easy one: throw your potato chunks into boiling salted water and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until they are soft through the middle.
Drain the potatoes well and add the milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher or electric beaters. Right before the potatoes go on to top the casserole, stir in 1/2 the cheese if you’re using it.

While your potatoes are cooking, start simmering the tempeh. Heat the bottle of beer in a small saucepan until almost simmering. Add the tempeh and 2 bullion cubes. Simmer for 15 - 20 minutes or until there is a cup or so of beer left unabsorbed.

In a large skillet/wok, quickly sauté the leek until wilted and then add the asparagus for about 2 minutes, or until just starting to heat. Add the bag of spinach and cook, stirring well from the bottom, until wilted. Add the tempeh and simmering liquid, lemon zest, parsley flakes and taste to adjust salt/pepper levels. Stir in frozen peas.

Dump out the veggies and tempeh into a greased 9″ x 13″ casserole. Cover the casserole with a layer of mashed potatoes - plop spoonfuls down all around the casserole and spread. Brush the mash potatoes with a thin coat of olive oil and top with the other 1/2 of grated cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is starting to get golden and you see a little bubbling around the side.

Thanks to vanessipes.com

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