Susie Csorsz Brown
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
We’re big fans of mashed potatoes around here. In fact, I think at least 2 of the boys might list it as their all-time favorite food. Now, I admit, I have made the version full of butter, too, but they love the version I make with extra veggies, and no added butter (We call them ‘Smashed potatoes’). Potatoes are just good, right? This ‘pie’ has a version of my smashed potatoes as a topping, and a thick lentil mix as the ‘meat’. You will definitely know it isn’t beef or lamb, but I also don’t think you’ll miss it hugely.
Hope you try this version. One of our favorite meatless Monday options.
Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
Serves 6- 8 Ingredients
5 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 tsp chicken bouillon, optional 1/4 cup coconut milk Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 cup chopped onion 4 medium carrots, finely diced 1 clove garlic, minced 3 cups cooked brown or green lentils (1 1/2 cups dry lentils, cooked with 3 cups water, a clove of garlic and a bay leaf. Simmer gently for 30 minutes; let sit.) 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1 cup water or chicken stock 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried) 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Have a 9 x 13 inch pan ready to go.
Prepare the mashed potato topping:
Place potatoes and carrots in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.
Remove the lid, lower the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until you can easily smash a potato with a fork. Drain well, saving liquid. Return the potatoes to the saucepan, add the bouillon, if using, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth, adding coconut milk, and any additional cooking liquid until the potatoes are of a consistency you like. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
While the potatoes simmer, prepare the filling:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots, cook, stirring, for an additional 1 minute.
Add the cooked lentils, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper, turmeric, cumin and stir well. Add the flour, tomato paste, water or stock, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme, stirring well to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, add the peas, and stir to combine.
Spread the filling evenly into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, spreading them evenly to the edges of the dish. This is easiest if you dollop smaller spoonfuls and then spread it with the back of a spoon. Be sure to swirl across the top so you have some rough edges that will crisp up in the oven.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the potatoes just begin to brown. To crisp the top, turn the oven to broil and broil for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.