Sunday, April 19, 2015

Shabbat Cooking: Tamale Shepherd's Pie

I wasn't really planning on cooking this Shabbat. I was out for dinner and then home for lunch. The thought of simple rice and beans was perfect but then I had a friend over last minute and thought, I can't serve her rice and beans! The same friend has had all my incarnations of tofu so even though I had some in the fridge for the coming week's recipe, I decided to go with something else. Since the next couple of months I'll be cooking through Isa Does It, I looked there for a good recipe. I found this recipe in the Sunday Suppers chapter and thought it would be perfect. I have never made a shepherd's pie (even though I've really wanted to) because I always thought that it was wayyyy too much work. This recipe isn't quick, but isn't intimidating either and I took advantage of these long Fridays to put it together. 

Now, this recipe wasn't that cheap. I didn't have most of the things around, as I'm avoiding tomatoes and potatoes. I also needed some chips, some mushrooms and cilantro and wine. I think it turned out to about 20 dollars. But I also shopped at an overpriced convenience store. I will say that I was proud of my thriftiness in freezing the leftover wine in half cup portions instead of throwing it away. (I am not a wine drinker, not even a little bit!) I also used the rest of the overcooked black beans that I had frozen ages ago and some frozen corn I have on hand so I can say I shopped the freezer! Even though it was a bit pricey, I have tons of leftovers and will be having it for lunches the rest of the week instead of my usual salad and sweets, so that works out well.

I loved this recipe! I really really loved it! So so good! A layer of mashed potatoes on top and a mixture of mushrooms, corn, tomatoes and black beans with a Mexican flavor profile... Yum. A while back, when I was in the beginning of my plant based journey and trying my hand out with new recipes, I tried out a layered enchilada casserole recipe that had a similar profile. It flopped miserably. This pie recipe is everything that wasn't and a whole lot more! It holds together wonderfully when cutting and serving and is nicely filling. Served with a nice size salad and you have a perfect meal! 
As usual, I did this in my Instant Pot. I pressure cooked the potatoes for five minutes which gave me a perfectly mash-able consistency. When I finished with the topping, I set to make the filling mixture, in my second Instant Pot liner. I tweaked the ingredients based on what I had and didn't and it totally worked. I sauteed onion and cooked jalapenos and then added a whole bunch of other things. Until the beans went in I wasnt sure that the mixture would fill a whole pan but everything worked out. The only thing that isn't plant strong about this recipe is the dorito chips. The store had no better option. Oh well. If you have the time, try this recipe. Isa has yet to disappoint!

Tamale Shepherd's Pie
adapted from Isa Does It

For the Mashed Potato Layer:
2 1/2 pounds of red potatoes, washed and chunked
1/2 cup unsweetened, unflavored non dairy milk
2 tsp vegetable broth
salt to taste

Filling:
broth for sauteeing
1 onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, from the jar, tops removed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned, cut in half and then sliced
1 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup dry red wine
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 ounces tortilla chips
2 tbsp Frank's red hot sauce
3 cups cooked black beans


Place the potatoes into the liner of your IP and add about a cup or so of water. I forgot to salt at this stage but if you remember to, add salt. Cover and set your IP to 5 minutes on manual time and then quick release. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Give the potatoes a quick mash. Add the remaining ingredients and mash with a fork until pretty much smooth. Taste for salt or flavor and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 350 and prepare a 9x13 pan.
To make the filling, saute the onion and peppers with a but sprinkle of salt in a pot for about seven minute or until soft. Add broth as necessary. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for another minute. Add the mushrooms and cilantro and cook until the mushrooms release most of their liquid. Add the tomatoes, corn, wine, salt, cumin and red pepper. Keep cooking about five minutes or so until the tomatoes break down and turn saucy. Now take the chips and crumble them in your hands; you want crumbs. Add to the mixture and stir thoroughly. Add the hot sauce and beans and heat through.

Pour the filling mixture into your prepared pan and smooth. Dollop the potatoes on and smooth out so that it covers all the filling. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. Garnish as desired. 

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