on January 16th, 2008 at 05:58 pm
Tofu Sheppard's Pie That Has Nothing To Do With Actual Sheppard's Pie
Insanely complicated recipe, which can be modified to be less crazy.
Fried chicken tofu:
First, freeze a pound of tofu. This step is not necessary, but it helps with the texture. About a day later, when it is one big bland icy block, thaw it (I cut it out of the box and then dump boiling water over it in a pan) and cut it or crumble it into cubes / slices / lil tofu bits).
For your marinade, you want 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, mixed with one tbsp water. Mix this together, toss the tofu in it until the marinade has touched the tofu. In bad, bad ways.
Now you bread the sucker: 2 to 3 tbsp sesame seeds, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes, 2 tablespoons tamari. (If you don't have nutritional yeast or sesame, I've done this with just flour and it's been fine)
Stirfry in olive oil in a skillet. I get the best results when I add about 1/4 tbsp of sesame chile oil to the oil; any kind of sesame oil will add meatiness.
3 to 4 tbsp butter or margarine (I'm not vegan, but the original recipe was)
1 onion, sliced thin
3/4 to 1.5 cups red wine (white is awful)
melt butter in a skillet,add the onions, let them brown until tender. Pour in the wine, let reduce by half. Should be a thick onion sauce.
My modification, which is full of dashes and pinches of things no sane omnivore owns:
- I like to put a bit of ground British-variety herbs in the oil with the onions: rosemary, sage, thyme. As suits.
- I get good results adding or substituting a bit of olive oil with the butter, or especially toasted sesame oil
- After the initial onion sauce stage, I like to beat in milk (unsweetened soy or dairy) and flour bit by bit to make more of a traditional gravy. If you go this route, add quantities of milk and flour very gradually and keep stirring; remember that the flour takes a while to thicken, so be sparing or you'll end up with glue.
- I add nutritional yeast, miso, and umeboshi plum paste bit by bit until the sauce tastes right
- A very small bit of sesame chile oil will really make this more interesting.
However, I'm fairly certain that you can put the plain old red wine gravy on the other ingredients and it will turn out fine.
So I make the gravy and the fried chicken tofu, and then I chop up potato and carrot (about a cup worth of each). The whole mess cooks faster if you microwave the potato and carrot until tender (you can microwave the potato like a baked potato, by stabbing it with a knife and then microwaving it in its skin).
You're supposed to top the damn thing with mashed potatoes but usually I'm too tired by this point to do more than mix the tofu and veggies in a baking dish, pour the gravy on top, slap a pastry crust over the thing and bake it. I usually bake at 400 degrees, for thirty minutes if the veggies are precooked and for about an hour and a half or until the veggies are tender otherwise.
It is good with grated sharp cheddar if you do dairy. Also, pepper helps.
The whole thing sounds insanely complicated, and it kind of is, but it's also a massive amount of food and pretty delicious. I have no idea if it has anything to do with normal people sheppard pie. Probably not.