The twimii version of a Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie used an instant gravy mix which is much easier way of making shepherd’s pie – and it tastes better too.
Actually the old twimii Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie wasn’t vegetarian. I’m sorry. I thought the gravy I was using was vegetarian. Turns out it wasn’t. Anyway making this with instant gravy granules with just some things added in – like a splash of wine, some wholegrain mustard and a little tomato purée – is, for me, the easiest way to make a nice Shepherd’s Pie.
I’ve wanted to get a good gluten-free vegetarian gravy recipe for a while. And to be honest I think the gluten-free vegan gravies I’ve used in the other Shepherd Pie’s are only alright. They’re good enough but … yeah, I prefer the taste of this instant stuff. And my idea of Shepherd’s Pie is one that requires very little effort and is just a lovely bit of stodgy comfort food. So when I decided a couple of weeks ago to just hurry up and transfer all the old abitmoreveg recipes over and correct update the old twimii recipes I decided I was going to use some instant gravy mix for this one. The problem is it’s difficult to find instant gluten-free gravy. – It’s just after occurring to me I should have checked in health food shops. Damnit. Anyway on the spur of the moment I bought this large tub of gluten-free instant gravy. It makes 26 litres of gravy. I assumed it would have a 10 year shelf life. It actually has a best before date of March 2018.
So should you expect to see lots of vegetarian dinners with gravy on twimii over the next few months? Um … well, this is also the only vegetarian dinner I can think of that I’d use a gravy with. I think I’m just going to store the tub in the freezer. It’s a dry mix – it should stay usuable. I think. I assume. And assumptions are working so well for me here…
It does make for a tasty Shepherd’s Pie. This is now definitely my favourite one on twimii. You won’t miss the meat at all either – the gravy does give the filling that meaty savoury taste – while still being vegetarian. And it’s topped with potatoes mashed with a generous splash of milk and lots of butter and topped with cheddar cheese. Yeah, it’s the kind of dish that makes you question whether vegetarian meals are really healthier. I love it. Not foodie food. Cozy comfort food.
2 - 3 tablespoons gravy mix blended with 2 - 3 tablespoons of hot water
1 heaped teaspoon wholegrain mustard
1 generous splash of red wine
1 teaspoon tomato purée
6 - 7 medium-large potatoes, peeled and sliced
cheddar cheese, grated
Rinse the puy lentils and place in a deep sauce pan with a good pinch of salt, the garlic clove and a sprig of the thyme. Cover with twice their depth of water, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and leave to simmer away until the lentils are tender - about 20 minutes. Discard the garlic clove and sprig of thyme when done.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, carrot, celery and leek to the pan. stir around, add the leaves from the remaining sprigs of thyme, a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and leave to sweat on a gentle heat for 8 - 10 minutes.
Put the potato slices in a saucepan with cold water that just barely covers them. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a medium setting, cover and leave to cook until the slices are tender enough that a fork will pass through them with little to no resistance - about 15 - 20 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the pan with the veg and stir around. Cover and leave for 8 - 10 minutes.
Turn on the oven to 180 C.
When the lentils are done, stir in the blended gravy. There shouldn't be too much liquid left in the lentils pot at this stage. Then add the lentils in gravy to the frying pay with the veg and stir around well. Add in a generous splash of red wine, the tomato purée and mustard, and stir around well. Taste and add salt if necessary. Turn off the heat.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain off the liquid, add a very generous splash of milk, as much butter as you're comfortable with and a very generous pinch of salt, and mash till smooth.
Put the filling in an oven dish, top with the mashed potato and grated cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes.
Serve with green vegetables or salad - or just by itself is good too. Enjoy!