This is a dairy-rich vegetarian pie. The topping is creamy mashed potato topped with grated cheese that turns into lovely golden brown bubbling patches as it bakes.
This is second abitmoreveg Shepherd’s Pie. Am I done with vegetarian shepherd’s pie? I don’t think so. This one is quite good. The photos don’t really do it justice but I prefer the filling of the ealier one.
One of the earliest recipes I added here was a recipe for vegan shepherd’s pie. I made that topping with potato mashed with almond milk topped with a herb-breadcrumb crust. Being honest I prefer the dairy-rich topping here. With this I made a small vegan alternative using a topping of a few slices of boiled potatoes drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with some herbs, salt and pepper. It works quite well – but I think it would work better with some herbed breadcrumbs over it.
I don’t use yeast extract for this one. What I use instead is tamari sauce with mustard and red wine vinegar. This does not create any gravy-like consistency but it adds a nice savoury flavour.
The old recipe took ages as well. But this you can prepare in 45 minutes – with baking time of 30 minutes after that. But in order to get it made in this time you have to prepare the ingredients in a certain order. And I cut down the prep time by just throwing the carrot, onion and celery in the blender.
I’ve listed mixed herbs in the ingredients. I didn’t have any to hand when I made this so I used some Herbes de Provence mix with some oregano. Use whatever mix you like – I think some mix with oregano goes really well in this type of dish.
Peel and slice the potatoes thinly (about 1/2 cm) and put on to boil in a pan of water. Boil until they are tender enough that a fork will easily push through a slice. When done drain off the water and add a good splash of milk and enough butter to easily mash the potatoes. Leave aside until ready to assemble the pie.
** If you want to make a vegan topping, boil half as many potatoes, slice thinly, drain them and drizzle in olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper.
While the potatoes are cooking, rinse the lentils well and place in a saucepan with twice their amount again of water, stir in the garlic cloves and half of the herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and most of the water has evaporated but the lentils should still be wet not dry. Pick out the garlic cloves and discard.
Peel, top and tail the onion, carrots and celery. Chop very roughly and place in blend. Blend until it is all minced. Slice the mushrooms and topped and tailed leek.
Heat the oven to 200 C.
Heat a little olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the mushroom and leave to cook on a moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Add the sliced leek, stir in, cover and leave for a couple of minutes.
Add in the minced carrot, onion and celery and stir around, sprinkle over a good pinch of salt, pepper and the rest of the herbs, stir around and then cover and leave for 2 minutes or until the veg is tender. Remove from the heat.
If the lentils are done stir them in now. Gently stir in the tamari sauce, vinegar and mustard. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
Grease a baking dish with a little olive oil, spoon in the lentil-veg mix, top with the creamy mashed potato, and sprinkle over the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving - otherwise it doesn't slice as well.
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