Tonight for dinner my daughter and I had a blast putting together a vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie. The basic recipe came from Eat Close to Home, but we have made some adjustments. Liliana noted while we were making it that since it didn’t hurt sheep for us to make it, we should call it Sheep Friend’s Pie instead. She and her 1-year old brother both had seconds. My meat-eater husband had thirds. This can also easily be made vegan. Enjoy!
1 small onion chopped
1 cup uncooked lentils (for quick versions used canned)
3 cups water
oil (we used olive)
1 bay leaf
2 T butter (can use oil instead)
2 T flour (we used oat)
2 T soy sauce
2 cups finely diced carrots
2 cups frozen peas (or get a pea/carrot frozen mix and eliminate fresh carrots)
2 cloves diced garlic
For Mashed Potato Crust:
2 pounds potatoes (we used organic Yukon gold but red would also be good), chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup milk
2 T butter
1. Saute the onion in a small amount of oil until soft and clear.
2. Add 3 cups of water, 1 cup of uncooked lentils, and bay leaf to the onions. Let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. (If you use canned lentils, combine them with the onion and bay leaf and heat them through.)
3. While the lentils are simmering, make the mashed potatoes (see directions below).
4. Make a roux using 2 T butter and 2 T flour (to make a quick roux, melt the butter then mix in the flour to form a paste). Add roux and 2 T soy sauce to lentils.
5. Simmer lentils to thicken sauce (the mixture shouldn’t be soupy). Saute 2 cups diced carrots with 2 diced garlic cloves in a little oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 2 cups of frozen peas and heat through. (If using frozen carrots as well, just heat both vegetables together with oil and garlic.)
6. Combine the carrots and peas with the lentils. Spoon the filling into an 9 x 11 baking dish. Using a spatula, spread the mashed potatoes over the top, sealing the edges. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
1. Bring a pot with 5 cups of water, the potatoes, and the 4 garlic cloves to a boil. Let simmer for 15 minutes until potatoes are soft.
4. Melt 2 T of butter and add 1/4 cup of milk. Keep the mixture warm on low heat until the potatoes are done.
5. Drain the potatoes and garlic then transfer to a bowl. Using a fork or potato masher, coarsely mash the potatoes. Add in the milk mixture, season with salt and pepper, and continue to mash until thoroughly combined.