It’s time for Shepherd’s Pie again! This is an old recipe from a vegetarian cookbook we wrote together a few years ago (nope, we are not vegetarians, just don’t want to eat meat every day). It’s made with brown lentils instead of meat and mashed potatoes with mustard. Very comforting! It’s still one of our family favorites and no one misses the meat at all!
Vegetarian supper, serves 4
Action Time: 30 minutes + 20 minutes oven time
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
3-4 carrots, scrubbed and thinly sliced
1 14-oz/400 g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary and/or thyme
a good slug of red wine
9 oz/250 g crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 14-oz/400 g cans of brown lentils, rinsed and drained
For the mashed potatoes :
2 lb Russett potatoes, peeled en cut in medium-size chunks
a splash of milk
a large knob of butter
1 large tbsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp finely grated parmesan cheese
Extra: potato masher or potato ricer, baking dish
1. Heat the oil in a large pan (or Dutch oven) and cook the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook them for several minutes. Mix in the tomatoes, rosemary or thyme, and add the wine. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes well. Heat a little milk in the pan and add the potatoes, butter, and mustard. With a potato masher mash the potatoes over low heat until soft and fluffy. (Or -even better- use a potato ricer; the mashed potatoes will get extra light and soft!). Season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Add the lentils to the vegetable mixture in the pan and let simmer for a couple more minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes evenly over; using the back of a spoon to even it out. Sprinkle over the parmesan cheese.
4. Place in the middle of the oven and bake until the mashed potatoes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. If you want the top to be a little more brown, simply turn on the ovengrill for 1-2 minutes. Serve with a green salad.