I often get asked this question. Mashed potato topping is my crust substitute! Gluten-free and no fiddling with pastry! Boy, what a relief those days of laboriously making sourdough pastry and rolling it out by hand are behind me! Here's the recipe for my crustless creamy chicken pie which my kids and I enjoyed tonight. Very easy and befitting of a winter's evening:
Pie filling ingredients:
300g left over cooked chicken pieces (eg reserved from making bone broth- yes another way to use up that darn chicken meat!!) 1 onion, diced 1 knob of garlic, diced ¼ cup tomato puree 2 carrots, chopped (approx 200g) 1 small sweet potato or piece of pumpkin, chopped (approx 200g) a few florets of cauliflower, chopped (approx 145g) 1 ¼ cups frozen peas (approx 170g) 1/2 teaspoon dried basil leaf 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon paprika handful of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped (approx 30g) 2 tablespoons butter for sautéing 200ml full fat cream unrefined salt cracked pepper
Mashed potato topping:
4 potatoes, chopped (approx 480-500g) 80g butter or cream unrefined salt cracked pepper gruyere or reggio cheese, grated (approx 60g)
Sautee onions, garlic and dried herbs in butter on low heat, covered, in a large frying pan until soft (5 -10 minutes). Add parsley, tomato puree and frozen peas. Sautee for another 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Steam carrots, sweet potato/pumpkin and cauliflower until soft. Add vegetables, chicken and cream to onion mixture in frying pan and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven proof baking dish.
To make mashed potato, steam potatoes until very soft. Place in jug or canister and add butter/cream, salt and pepper and blend with hand held blender until smooth. Spread mashed potato on top of pie and top with grated cheese.
Place dish on an oven rack just above the middle of the oven under a heated grill element to melt the cheese and brown the top of the pie. This will only take a matter of minutes. Be careful to ensure that it does not burn. Because the ingredients in the pie are all cooked the pie does not need further cooking in the oven, unless you have prepared the pie ahead of time and need to heat it up.
To make a Shepherds' pie simply substitute cooked beef or lamb pieces (eg reserved from making beef bone broth) instead of chicken and omit the cream.