A rich, hearty meat free shepherd’s pie. The lentils and porcini mushrooms give this dish a lovely depth of flavour. You can double or triple the quantities and pop extra servings in the freezer for a healthy midweek dinner in minutes. Serves 6
Good splash olive oil
200 grams onions, finely chopped (1 medium onion)
100 grams carrot, finely chopped (1 medium carrot)
40 grams celery, finely chopped (1 stick)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped (10 grams)
10 grams dried porcini, soaked for 20 minutes in boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon freshly ground cumin seed
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoon tomato puree
250 grams dried beluga or puy lentils
100 ml red wine
500 ml vegetable stock (1 stock cube)
150 ml reserved porcini stock
20 grams parsley, chopped
750 grams floury potatoes, quartered
40 grams butter
2-4 tablespoons good quality cheddar cheese
Good splash of fresh cream
Heat the oil in a saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots and slowly fry for 8-10 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Add garlic and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, then add chopped porcini and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add spices, cook for 1 minute.
Add in tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in rinsed lentils, wine and the vegetable and reserved porcini stock. Bring to a simmer and cook till slightly thickened and reduced, about 20-30 minutes. Season and add in chopped parsley. Allow to cool slightly.
Preheat the oven to 180 C
While the lentils are cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water and boil for about 15-25 minutes until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and cream, then season with salt and pepper. Gently mix in 2 tablespoons of cheese and set aside, keeping it warm.
To assemble the pie, spoon the lentil mixture into one large ovenproof dish or six small individual dishes, then top with mash. If you like a crispy topping, create peaks in the mash using a fork and top with extra cheese.
Bake the shepherd’s pie in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.