Today we had our monthly dinner group gathering. It was our turn to cook the main dish so we made some corned beef. Paula also found a recipe for Curried Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie in the March 2016 Food Network magazine. It looked really tasty – and it was!! – so we cooked that to go with the corned beef.

If the title sounds interesting, here is the recipe…

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put 2 pounds of peeled and chopped potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a separate large saucepan with 6 cups water. Add 2 bay leaves, 3 springs of thyme (note: we added 2 teaspoons of dry thyme) and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil. Add 2 chopped carrots, 1 peeled and chopped rutabaga, 1 peeled and chopped turnip and 2 chopped leeks. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid, then drain the vegetables. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Pat the vegetables dry; set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add 8 ounces of quartered mushrooms. Cook until they release their liquid, about 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook until the liquid is evaporated, another 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of coriander and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg. Cook a little more, stirring, about 1-2 minutes. Whisk in the reserved cooking liquid and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot-vegetable mixture, 1 cup of frozen peas, lemon zest and juice from 1 lemon. Return to a simmer and then remove from the heat. Season with salt and stir in 1/2 cup of chopped parsley.

Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly. Return to the pot and add 2 teaspoons of curry powder and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and another 3/4 cup half-and-half. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and mash well.

Spread the mushroom mixture in a 3-quart baking dish. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top and spread with the back of a spoon. Bake until bubbling around the edges and the topping is browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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