This is a dish that is very easily adapted to taste. The amounts for the ingredients are very flexible. The important thing is to get the roux base of onions, carrots, and celery right. Once you have that, everything else will fall into place. To make it even heartier, add kidney beans or mushrooms.
4-5 large potatoes, russet or Idaho (about 4 cups mashed)
3 tbsp (or more) butter
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sour cream
4 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 large onion diced (about 1 cup)
3-4 carrot diced (about 1 cup)
3-4 celery stalks diced (about 1 cup)
1-2 tsp dried thyme
½-1 tsp dried sage
12 oz. vegan burger crumbles (or ground beef*)
1 cup fresh chopped or frozen spinach (if using frozen defrost)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worchester sauce
Splash or two red wine (optional)
2 tbsp flour (plus or minus)
½ - 1 cup veggie broth
2 tbsp Parmesan
Peel and dice potatoes, boil until super soft. Mash. Add butter, milk, sour cream, and salt to taste. Any of these ingredients can be increased or diminished according to taste. Set aside.
Prepare a baking dish, 9x13 or 10 x 10. Preheat oven to 400°
Heat butter or olive oil in a skillet or sauce pan over medium (to medium low) heat with a hefty pinch of salt. Add onion and cook until soft, stirring frequently, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add carrots and celery, stir and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Crush dried herbs and add, stir thoroughly. Add the burger crumbles and spinach. Stir. Add soy sauce and Worchester sauce, stirring in completely. Add red wine if using. Heat through, maybe 3 to 5 minutes.
Mix in the flour. It should look as if it’s evenly coating the ingredients but with a little liquid/oil left (in the same way that you make gravy). If the ingredients look too liquidy, add flour by the teaspoon until the consistency looks about right. Stir in a ½ cup of broth slowly. As it mixes with the ingredients it should start to thicken. Add enough broth to get a gravy-like consistency.
Pour mixture into the baking dish, even out. By spoonful’s, carefully pile mashed potatoes on mixture. Spread across mixture taking care to smooth out across the dish without sinking too much of the potatoes. Leave a ½ inch around the sides and a small hole in the middle potato-free. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Bake in oven for 30 to 35 minutes until bubbling and hot in the center. Serve with additional Worcester sauce or hot sauce.
*if using ground beef, reduce butter or olive oil.