Lentil 'Shepherd's' Pie with a Potato-Cauli Mash

by - July 11, 2014

Before I stopped eating meat, I didn't particularly care for shepherd's pie. Or cottage pie, for that matter. So you can imagine, I don't miss it very much. Not at all, in fact. Not one bit.

However, as I was daydreaming about food (as I often do), I pictured this steamy, fragrant pie, packed full of lentils and veg in a slight broth. All insulated by a creamy dreamy mash.

Which, coincidentally, sounded a lot like shepherd's pie.

If you are one of those people who HATE calling a vegan dish by it's non-vegan name, call this a lentil-mash pie. A 'Meat? What Meat?' Pie A you-will-want-four-servings pie. Whatever floats your boat. But I will call it my Lentil "Shepherd's" pie. For convenience' sake.

I love this pie so much that I am rewarding myself by making (not one!) but TWO gifs. *cue applause* 

My sister, Kyra, was my lovely hand model for the gifs. It is great to be back because (a) I finally have an oven/stove again; and (b) will no longer have to juggle a camera in my left hand as I use my right for photos. 

Despite being the owner of an elegant set of hands (see gif), Kyra is not the neatest scooper/plater (see gif). Look at how that pie plops mash-first into the serving plate. I need to teach that girl a thing or two about presentation.

And yes, the photos do make this pie look out-of-this-world yellow. I thought it would be fitting, given this pie is, well, out-of-this-world.

I mean that in a good way, of course.

Lentil 'Shepherd's' Pie with a Potato-Cauli Mash
Serves 6

For the Cauli Mash
6 small desiree potatoes
1/2 a head of cauliflower
2 large roasted garlic cloves (in an 200 degrees C oven for 15 minutes, I do large batches)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp English Mustard
1 tsp dried chopped chives
Almond milk, if necessary
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Lentil Filling
1.5 cups green lentils, dried (or 3 cups cooked, if using canned)
1 tbsp light-coloured olive oil
1 large yellow onion
4 small garlic cloves, minced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
1 tsp rosemary, dried
1/4 tsp thyme, dried
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable stock

To make the cauli mash, boil the potatoes and cauliflower in a large pot of cold water. When it reaches a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and leave for about 20 minutes. When you prick the potatoes with a fork, it should sink in like a ripe peach. Drain the veg and return to the now empty pot

With a potato masher, mash together the rest of the ingredients. Do not over-mash it or it will become too starchy. If you need a little liquid to help it along, add almond milk in small splashes. Set aside the mash.

Do this step as you are boiling your potatoes and you are using dried lentils. Place the lentils into a pot with double the amount of filtered water (3 cups), bring it to a boil with the lid on, then lower the heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils have absorbed all of the water. Remove the lentils from a pot and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C

In a large saucepan or wok, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots and leeks and stir constantly. after two minutes of stirring, add 1/2 a cup of the veggie stock, cover the pot with a lid and allow it to cook until carrots are tender, you can stir it every now and then. This should take about 8 minutes. Then add the cooked lentils, herbs, tomato paste, vinegar and the rest of the veggie stock and allow it to cook, stirring constantly. You are aiming for a slightly liquidy texture, but not too runny or it wouldn't hold up under the mash when you serve it! When it is reduced to the consistency we talked about, take it off the heat and place it into a large pie pan. Top it with a cauli-mash, and use the back of your spatula to make it smooth. Pop it into the preheated oven for 20 minutes, when the mash has become a lovely golden colour. Remove from the oven and serve!

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  1. Um HELLO lady this sounds ridiculously tasty!!! I love love love lentils. And cauliflower. And nutritional yeast. Can't wait for winter--this will be such perfect fodder! And PS: I am so so flattered to be on your favorites list along with so many other peeps I admire!! So much love to you <333 Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

    1. AW thank you so much Erika! I am an avid fan of the pancake princess <3 You need to make this pie, as a fellow lentil/cauli/N. yeast lover. hope your weekend is fab as well :)