Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Potato, Parsnip, Horseradish Puree

4 01 2013
I made this dish last night and it was absolutely delicious. The key was the wonderful soaking liquid from the porcini mushrooms which added a great earthy flavor to the stock. Also the puree of potatoes and parsnip was lighter that just the normal mashed potatoes.

Serves 6


  • 4 medium-large Yukon potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons minced green onion
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups super-sharp white Cheddar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or an herbed olive oil like EVOO Tuscan Herb olive oil
  • 6 medium portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean, gills scraped, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped (if not using an herb olive oil)
  • 2 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium-large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small bundle kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • A few grates nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • * available in soup aisle of the supermarket


Preheat the broiler and put a rack in the middle of the oven.

Put the potatoes and the parsnips in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, over high heat, then salt the water and cook until the potatoes and parsnips are tender, 15 minutes or so. Drain and return the potatoes and parsnips to the hot pot. Add the horseradish, milk, chives, salt and pepper, to taste, and mash to desired consistency. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and the egg.

Meanwhile, soak the dried porcini in 2 cups boiling water. Once softened, strain the broth through a paper towel and reserve. Rinse the mushrooms and chop them into small pieces.

Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over high heat with extra-virgin olive oil or the herb olive oil.  Add the mushrooms, and the rosemary leaves if not using an herbed olive oil, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the carrot and onion and season liberally with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 5 minutes more, then stir in the garlic and the kale and season with nutmeg. Cook until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and the stock and mushroom broth (should have 3 cups of broth in total), and bring to a boil. In a small skillet, over low heat, melt the butter, whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then stir it into the sauce and thicken  by boiling for a few minutes. If using a Dutch oven, just top the vegetable mixture with the potato puree. If not, transfer the vegetable mixture to a large casserole and top with the mashed potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and brown under the broiler for 2 to 3 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve. (If you make it ahead, then reheat the casserole in a 400 degree oven before broiling the cheese)





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