Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

I think I’ve finally found the perfect combination of flavors for a really delicious vegetarian pie….

Ingredients for the potato topping:

  • 8 potatoes peeled and cut in half
  • 8 ounces shredded mature cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 ounces milk
  • 4 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Ingredients for the lentil mixture:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled, chopped into small pieces or 1 x 14 ounces tin of sliced carrots
  • 1 celery stalk, trimmed, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 large bell peppers (red, yellow, orange or green)  chopped into small pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 ounces dried lentils
  • 2 x 10-ounce cans hot diced tomatoes with habaneros (RO*TEL)
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces red wine
  • 8 ounces vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • salt and  black pepper

Preparation method for the potato topping:

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Place the pot on your stove and turn heat to high. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes before tossing in the frozen peas and cooking for 5 minutes more, or until potatoes easily break apart with a fork.
  2. Drain potatoes and return to the pot.  Add butter and spring onions and mash together roughly. Add the cheese and continue to mash to desired consistency. Add 1/2 the milk and mix well, adding more milk if needed to make creamier potatoes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation method for the lentil mixture:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat and gently fry the chopped onion until beginning to brown then throw in the carrots, peppers, and celery and saute for 5-10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes.
  2. Add the lentils and all the other ingredients mixing well. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are tender.  Add more broth if becomes too dry as lentils expand.
  3. Heat oven to 375F
  4. Spoon the lentil mixture into a 13×9 inch pie dish and top with the potatoes bake the pie for 30 minutes, or until the potato is golden brown.

You may want to lay the baking dish on a sheet of foil as sometimes the juice will bubble over the edges.

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