Monday, August 31, 2009

Chickpea Shepherd's Pie

About 8 months ago, I bought a case of chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) because it was about 50% cheaper to get them by the boatload. This was a case with 24 cans and I knew I'd have to eat them all myself because my husband won't eat any sort of bean. I've used them in a lot of recipes (though the majority have gone into hummus), and this is one of my favorites.

I didn't base this on any existing recipe, but was inspired to give it a try after reading a review for vegetarian shepherd's pie on the "Heat and Eat Review" site. I figured that I'd just do what I normally did for the same dish with meat with possibly a few alterations to make up for the lack of savory flavors, so this was essentially made up on the fly, but worked very well.

Chickpea Shepherd's Pie
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/3 large carrot, sliced and diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef or vegetable bouillon cube, dissolved in 1 cup very hot water
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch, dissolved in 1-2 tbsp. cold water
  • salt (to taste - about 1/2 tsp., but it depends on your bouillon)
  • 3-5 cups mashed potatoes (I used instant mashed potatoes)
  • 1/2-1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp. Canola oil
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is warmed and coats the bottom of the pan evenly, add the garlic and onions. Saute them until the onions are softened then add the pepper and carrot. Cook the vegetables for about 5-10 more minutes until the pepper is a little wilted looking. Stir in the chickpeas and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes to get the temperature of all of the ingredients to about the same level.

Add the water with the dissolved beef bouillon cube and the Worcestershire sauce. If you want to add tomato paste (I didn't, but mainly because I forgot to do so), add it now. Stir, cover with a lid, reduce the heat, and allow to simmer until the carrots are cooked. Depending on how much liquid remains, you'll have to either remove the lid and allow some of it to boil off or just use it as is. The liquid amount factors into how much "gravy" you get. If you want less, let more boil off. If you want more, add in more water.

Reduce the heat to low and slowly add about half of the dissolved cornstarch. As it heats, it will thicken. Stir in as much of the cornstarch as seems necessary to get the desired thickness. If it becomes too thick, add more water. If it is too thin, pour in more cornstarch. Taste and salt as necessary.

When the chickpea mixture is done, spoon it into a lightly greased baking dish. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the chickpea mixture and sprinkle with cheese. The quantity of potatoes you'll need varies based on the size of your dish and how thinly you want them layered. If you use glass, you can heat the pie in the microwave until the cheese is melted. If you use metal, you'll have to bake it at 350 degrees until the potatoes are hot and the cheese is melted.

by Shari (Orchid64)


Abi "The Editrix" Jones said...

Glad we could be of inspiration! The golden potatoes on the top look so crisply delicious that I'm drooling.

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Abi, and thank you so much for stopping by! I'm a big fan of your review site and check it every evening from my Palm for new reviews. :-)

When I get back to the U.S., I'm hoping to use it as a guide for what to seek out in the frozen food section.

Gindeejao said...

My husband is vegetarian and I'm not, so I'm always looking for ways to cater to both our eating styles. I don't know why it never occurred to me to make something like this (I *love* the meat version). Thanks for the suggestion!

Orchid64 said...

Thanks, Gindeejao! Good luck! I hope it turns out as well for you as it did for me.

Tina said...

I was wondering how much this made. Is it a 9x13 baking dish?
I'll be making this for 2, but I don't know how many the original recipe was meant to serve.
Thanks for any advice!

Orchid64 said...

Hi, Tina, and thank you for stopping by. This is 4 servings. I made it in a round glass dish which was about 8 inches in diameter. The dish I used is rather deep though so I think this would probably work as a shallow version in a pie pan.

Good luck!