This recipe is really the result of one of those rainy day throw-together-whatever-you-have-in-the-pantry kind of thing. I felt like something warm using potatoes, so what better than a hearty Shepherds Pie!
The amounts of each ingredient are approximate. This really is just a dish that you put together with intuition. If you want to add more veggies or less or throw in some tofu or Seitan to ‘beef’ it out…go for it!
Serves 2 hungry people
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- Oil for greasing pan
- 5 Medium potatoes
- 1/2 cup milk of choice (I used Almond)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- Dried herbs of your choosing (I used oregano, rosemary, thyme and parsley)
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms (I used brown, but fresh shiitake would rock as well)
- 1 cup cooked lentils (or from a can)
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon miso paste (optional but divine)
- 1 Tablespoon plain flour
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cup veggie broth (I used water and it was great, but if you are not using miso, then go for the broth)
Begin by peeling potatoes and cutting them into quarters. Place in large pot of water, bring to boil and simmer until soft. Mash potatoes with a little oil and the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Heat oil in large pan over high heat and throw in (easy now, don’t be too care-free) onions, garlic, celery, carrots, herbs and salt n’ pepper. Turn heat down to medium and cook for a few minutes until vegies start to soften up. Add a little more oil here and the tomato paste. Now add the flour and stir into mixture, turn heat back up a little and pour in the wine. Stir and wait until the wine has reduced, then slowly add in your broth or water, whichever you are using. Add lentils and mushrooms, turn heat down to low-medium and let this simmer away and thicken up for about 7-8 minutes.
Grease a pan of your choosing. I used a regular loaf tin and it turned out fine but you could also use a round pie dish (you may need to increase the ingredients though) or use separate little ramekins which would be lovely. Cut your pastry to fit into the bottom of your pan/dish and up the sides. Once your mixture has thickened, add in the miso (first dissolved in a little hot water), take off the heat and pour into the dish, filling it up to the top. Now layer the mashed potatoes over the top, spreading in a nice smooth layer. I drew a fork over mine to get the ridge edge or you could be a real fancy pants and use a piping bag and make it all pretty. Sprinkle with herbs.
Place in middle rack of oven and bake until the edges of your pastry are golden and your potatoes are gettin crispy, about 20-25 mins. Enjoy! Check out the rich, dark, delicious insides!