Although I have lots of different vegetarian and vegan Shepherd's Pie on my blog, including a Welsh Shepherd's Piee, I do like trying other recipes. Shepherd's Pie with mash potatoes is also one of D's favourite dishes, so he never minds when I make it or what the weather is like. For me, Shepherds Pie is either a dish for the weekend, or for rainy days. I am sure I am not alone in that.
This particular Shepherd's Pie comes from Sea Shepherd's Anti-Whaling Campaign cookbook 'Cookin Up a Storm' by Laura Dakin. Sea Shepherd is not an animal rights organization, it is quite a unique environmental organisation. For those of you who are not aware or familiar with the work of Sea Shepherd, well these brave and admirable individuals are literally shepherds of the sea, protecting and defending the 'graceful denizens of the sea: whales, seals, turtles, sharks and dolphins'. Sea Shepherds role is to confront head on and challenge the illegal slaughter of endangered marine wildlife. If you love dolphins and seals, then why not other marine life?!
I would just like to share an extract from the cookbook and I hope Lara Dakin and Sea Shepherd don't mind me doing this. I think its quite powerful and it certainly made me think as a vegetarian.
'People are eating our oceans to death. No fish is safe. What most people don't realize, however, is that meat eating also greatly diminishes the oceans, because 40% of the fish taken from the sea is fed to pigs, chickens, cowls, domestic cats, and farm raised fish. In fact, pigs are eating more fish than sharks, chickens are eating more fish than puffins, and cats are eating more fish than seals. So really, when you eat bacon, you're eating the sea. By serving only vegan food (on Sea Shepherd to the crew) we illustrate the relationship between what we eat and the health of our oceans.' Captain Paul Watson, one of the founders of Sea Shepherd.
Anyway, this Shepherd's Pie also happens to be Sea Shepherds signature dish. I have a number of other recipes bookmarked to make including Fish Free Cakes, Chunky 'Beef' Barley and Ale Stew and Asian Style Stuffed Dumplings, but this had to be the first - though I must admit my Taste of the Sea Spaghetti was prompted by seeing a version in this cookbook.
Although I did tinker with the recipe just a little - more leeks and reduced the lentils - the verdict is it was really, really scrummy. It was dinner for 3 evenings served with the last of the homegrown Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
You can find Sea Shepherd's original recipe here; or buy the cookbook and support the charity. For a review of the book, follow this link.
To learn more about Sea Shepherd in the UK follow this link
To follow them on Twitter in the UK follow this link.
To see Laura Dakin and the other crew cooking and in action - click here.
I am sharing this with Months of Edible Celebrations who hosts Cookbook Wednesday. and Casa Costello for Bake of the Week.
Sea Shepherd's Tote Bag at Bristol VegFest