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This Vegan Shepard's Pie starts with delicious seitan shreds from washed flour which get dusted with flour and fried, cooked with veggies in a beefy broth, and piled high with the creamiest vegan garlic mashed potatoes you will ever try!
I also break from tradition with the use of chopped string beans instead of peas, but that's only because my husband hates peas. Either will work perfectly in the dish!
If making your seitan using this recipe or any other beefy seitan you choose, plan to make it at least one day ahead so it has time to rest and firm up in the fridge. If your seitan has rested or you're using something store-bought - carry on!
In a large pot, add potatoes to a gallon of salted water and and bring it up to a boil. Once boiling, cook them for about 15 minutes or until soft - a fork should be able to easily pierce the potato.
While your potatoes are cooking, evenly coat the seitan shreds in the 3T of flour.
In a large pan, heat 1T of the oil over medium/high. Once the oil is hot, add about 1/3 of the shreds to the pan and fry them for about a minute or two on each side, or until just starting to crisp and brown. Repeat this with the remaining oil and shreds. Set the fried seitan aside.
NOTE: If using store-bought vegan ground beef (such as Impossible or Beyond) instead of seitan, follow the cooking instructions on the package and set them aside. You can omit the oil from the recipe.
In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium and melt the vegan butter. Add leeks, carrots and green beans (if using), and cook until just starting to get tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about another minute, or until it has become fragrant.
NOTE: If using store-bought ground, sprinkle the vegetable mixture with the 3T of flour and stir to make sure everything is evenly coated.
Add the tomato paste, thyme, parsley, and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Stir, cooking until it is well combined, another 2 to 3 minutes. Add back in the fried seitan (or ground), the peas (if using) and the one cup of broth. Stir and cook for just another minute or two, or until the broth has cooked down from a soupy to a saucy consistency. Transfer the mixture to a 3QT casserole dish.
Heat the oven to 375F. Add the butter, vegan cream, rosemary and garlic to a small saucepan. Cook the mixture until the butter has melted and is starting to bubble, about 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Using a masher or a ricer, mash hot potatoes until smooth. Remove the rosemary from the garlic cream mixture and pour it into the potatoes, stirring until just blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the filling to the casserole dish and spread in an even layer. Dollop with the potatoes and spread evenly over the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with a little more salt, pepper, and parsley, if desired. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes have begun to brown and the filling is bubbling a bit around the edge. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before serving.