Shepardess Pie - an update

by - February 24, 2017

I thought it was about time I have my Shepardess Pie a makeover. 2.0. It's not got a ton of garlic, sweet potatoes and can be made in under 30 minutes.

You will probably have pretty much all of the ingredients with you, hiding in your pantry. It's that simple. You can, of course, use any most kinds of lentils. Puy, beluga, pardina, marrow, french green and brown... I find that the indian lentils like red split lentils or channa dal really don't do very well in this. The former becomes mush, great for dhal and not great for pie, whereas the latter needs way too much cooking. If you are using dried lentils for this, use about 2 1/2 cups of cooked lentils for this pie.

Shepardess Pie
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf 
4 tsp tomato paste
1 veggie stock cube + 1/2 cup hot water
2 springs fresh rosemary, stems removed, or about 1 tsp dried
2 tsp balsamic vinegar 
2 cans green lentils, drained
1 large carrot, diced into small cubes
1/2 cup green peas, frozen
Salt, to taste
4-5 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1/3 cup soy milk
2 tbsp vegan cream cheese, optional
Salt, to taste

Boil the sweet potatoes and the garlic cloves until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile make the filling.
In a skillet, fry the onion and garlic until fragrant and onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add in the bay leaf, tomato paste, stock cube and water and continue to cook until stock cube is well dissolved and mixture is bubbling. Add in the vinegar, lentils and carrot reduce the heat and allow to cook until carrots are tender, about 5 minutes. Throw in the green peas and cook until those are cooked as well, an additional 2 minutes. Add salt to taste and take it off the heat. Leave the filling in the skillet if you have one that can be put in the oven/grill, otherwise transfer to a baking dish.
Drain and mash the sweet potatoes, garlic and add in the soy milk, cream cheese and salt. Make sure it is nice, soft and creamy and you don't have any big chunks of unmashed potato. Spoon the topping over your lentil filling, you can pipe it as well to make it look pretty but if you do so, I recommend blending it or the bigger chunks may get stuck in the piping nozzle. Place under the grill until the peaks of the potato mixture begin to caramelise and the pie is singing (it does! I promise), anout 10 minutes. Serve hot!

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