Shepherd's Pie and Mashed Potato Crust

Shepherd’s Pie

½ C. water
1 Tbsp. chicken-style seasoning
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 C. celery, finely chopped
¼ C. scallions, finely chopped
8 C. whole grain bread cubes (1/2 inch cubes), preferably stale
2 tsp. ground sage
½ tsp. marjoram, thyme, celery seed, and sea salt
¼ tsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine
3 Tbsp. chicken style seasoning
1 Tbsp.salt
2 C. boiling water

Mashed Potato Crust:

8-10 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes (8-10 cups)
1 stalk celery
1 bay leaf
1 large clove garlic
½ C. clean cashews
1 C. water
1 small onion
1 tsp. salt

Peel potatoes and place in large kettle of cold water. Add celery, bay leaf, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tender.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare stuffing. In large heavy saucepan, add ½ cup of water and 1 Tbsp. chicken style seasoning. Add onion, shallot, celery, and scallions. Saute until vegetables begin to soften. Add bread cubes, sage, marjoram, thyme, celery seed, paprika, parsley and sea salt. Mix well. Stir the 3 Tbsp. of chicken style seasonings and the 1 Tbsp. salt into the boiling water. Add to stuffing, and mix well. Steam, covered, over very low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare mashed potatoes. Place the cashews, 1 C. of water, onion and salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Remove bay leaf, and celery from potatoes and place potatoes in food processor or mash by hand, mixing in cashew mixture. Whip thoroughly. Place stuffing in ovenproof casserole. (I use a Pyrex dish-13x9x2) Top with mashed potatoes. Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes or until potatoes have formed a golden crust. Prepare Cashew Gravy (see below) while pie bakes. Serves 4-6.