Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Note from Cheri: This version of vegetarian Shepherd's Pie is very satisfying, thanks to the meaty portabella mushrooms used for the filling. It saves a tons of fats and calories over the regular version. You can either make smaller individual pies (like what's pictured here) or use a large baking dish to make one big one.

1 recipe garlic mashed potatoes (or any other flavor mashed potatoes you'd like, or even plain mashed potatoes for the purists)
1 onion (I like to use sweet onion, such as Vidalia, but you can use regular)
2 portabella mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cups green peas (fresh or frozen preferred)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 T butter
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 tsp. basil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 T balsamic vinegar

Pre-heat oven to 425°F. Carmelize onions in a large skillet. Lower heat and add garlic and stir for about a minute. Add butter and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add wine and 1 1/2 cups water (or you can use beef, chicken or vegetable stock). Stir in tomato paste and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in basil and balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat.

Using your fingers, press mashed potatoes into the bottom and up the sides of an 8x12 inch baking dish (or into 6 smaller individual baking dishes). Spoon mushroom mixture into baking dish(es). Carefully cover the tops with additional mashed potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are beginning to brown. Serve with a hearty red wine (one of the few vegetarian dishes that will hold up to it). Serves 6.

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