Haute cuisine.

Because I’m broke as fuq because of roof business, I’ve been experimenting with subbing in beans for, like, everything lately. The latest is a black bean-based shepherd’s pie, which one person (hi Erica!) expressed an interest in learning more about. It’s still a Work in Progress situation, but the gist is this:

Chop up an onion finely. Sauté in a big pan with oil (canola, olive, whatevs) for a few minutes until it gets pretty transparent.

While this is going on, chop a big celery stalk, a big carrot, and, like, a cup’s worth of mushrooms into wee pieces. Chuck them into the pan with the onion, along with a couple of cloves of minced garlic.

Cook and stir for several minute. Throw in a big splish of red wine (or a smaller one of vermouth) if things are sticking (or, really, even if they aren’t), and let bubble mostly off. Then add a can (drained) of black beans and about a cup of vegetable stock. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, lid on, stirring occasionally.

While this is all going on, make mashed potatoes more or less however you would normally. I did not measure this bit. But make several cups worth. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

Take lid off vegetable/bean mixture. Add some herbs of your liking (thyme, sage, and other ‘meaty’ spices work well so far) and salt and pepper. Smoosh the veg mix with a potato masher until it looks not-unlike refried beans, but with a few more chunks of stuff in it. If it seems soupy, turn heat to low and let things steam off for several minutes.

Spread beany stuff into a 9×13 glass pan.

Dump on a mix of frozen peas and corn (2-3 cups worth).

Carefully dollop spoonfuls of mashed potatoes on across surface of corn/pea layer. Spread as evenly as possible.

(Optional: Sprinkle some cheese on it.)

Cover with foil.

Either bung it in the fridge for later use (in which case, bake for 45 minutes lid on, then turn heat up to 425 and bake another 15 minutes to make for crispy potato top) or cook right away (25 minutes, then 15).

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Woke up earlier, unprompted, before 7:15. Not a terrible thing, because it means I’ve already had time to make, and eat, Posh Granola. Posh because the ingredients are a bit fancier than I would normally use every day, but as this makes almost four cups of the stuff (it can, in my experience keep refrigerated for a few weeks, and is probably freezable), you don’t need to blow through $10-15 of ingredients very often. (more…)

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