I have vague memories from when I was very young of eating Shepherd’s Pie. I never enjoyed meat, but those layers of fresh green peas and creamy mashed potatoes stayed with me for years and years. Luckily, there are any number of delicious ways to recreate this traditional dish for a meatless diet, and this is my current favourite.
I initially adapted this version from a Passover recipe. I still make it at Pesach, and I get a lot of comments and requests for the recipe (so… ta-da!!!!! Here it is!). But a word of warning: my Pesach includes kitniyot, as does this pie. If you’ve also moved over to the dark side and are ready to enjoy Pesach food again, give this a try! If not, try it during the rest of the year. And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, ignore this whole paragraph and start cooking.
You can easily make this vegan, by omitting the egg, and/or gluten-free, by omitting the matzah meal. It won’t change the taste, but the bottom layer won’t hold together quite as well. You could try sneaking in a bit of potato starch to see if that helps, but I really don’t think it’s a problem at all.
Also, I often cheat and use potato flakes for the potato layer, because it’s Pesach and I have enough stuff to cook. I won’t judge you.
Disclaimer: No shepherds were harmed in the creation of this recipe, although a whole bunch of chickpeas met their delicious end.
Pesach Shepherd’s Pie
- 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 small orange or yellow bell pepper, diced small
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tsp each dried basil and oregano, or 1 tsp each fresh
- 3 medium carrots, shredded
- 1 zucchini, shredded
- 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup matzah meal
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 cups peas and corn, in any proportion you like. If you use frozen, that’s fine, but thaw them before using them.
- 2 ½ cups potato flakes or 5 white potatoes, boiled till soft and mashed
- Milk, butter and salt as desired for the potatoes. Replace these with water and oil or margarine to keep it pareve or vegan
- Paprika to sprinkle on top.
- Prepare a 9×13-inch pan with a spray of oil or parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Saute the onion, bell pepper, celery, salt and pepper in oil till soft. Add the carrots and zucchini, and then the chickpeas and herbs. Test seasonings, then add matzah meal and egg if you’re using them.
- Spread this into the prepared 9×13-inch casserole dish. Top with the peas and corn and spread these evenly.
- Make the mashed potatoes. If you’re using flakes, about 3 cups of boiling water will do. You want the potatoes fairly soft and easy to spread. Add butter, milk, salt, etc, until you’re happy with the taste.
- Very carefully, spread the potatoes onto the pea/corn layer. I usually do this in several thin layers, because the first one will mess up all those peas that you’ve so carefully arranged. The second layer will only mess it up a bit, and the third layer will be all potato. Dust paprika lightly on top of the potato layer.
- Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.