Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 23, 2009: Shepherd's pie

I have a confession to make. This extended winter - y'know, the one that's given us 13 degree days in late September? It's our fault. It seems as though spring won't actually spring until Cindy and I have cooked all of the winter recipes entered into our 800th post competition. And things are looking up weather-wise, because we're almost there! The penultimate entry was Hannah's shepherd's pie, which was a rich and warming winter delight. It's surprising to realise that this is probably the first time we've made a vego shepherd's pie - it seems like it's a staple for many other non-meat eaters, and after this it may become a winter staple for us as well. It's simple, delicious and, as we discovered, the leftovers double as stunning toasted sandwich filling.

Lentil and mushroom shepherd's pie
2 cans lentils (this was the lazy option - I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to start with dry lentils)
1 onion, chopped finely
2-3 ribs of celery, chopped finely
2 small carrots, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf
6 rehydrated shitake mushrooms (keep the broth)
Wine (if you've got some spare)
Olive oil
A vegie mash (we used potato and carrot, but anything would work)

Fry the onion and celery in the oil until they start to soften. Add the carrot and the garlic and keep frying for another few minutes.

Add in the lentils, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaf and a splash of wine and stir together. Bring to the boil and then simmer, adding in the mushrooms and their soaking liquid.

Simmer things down while you whip up your mash, and then pour the bolognese mix into a baking dish, slather the mash on top, grate some parmesan over it all if you've got some lying around, and then bake at 180 for about half an hour.

We served it (as suggested) with steamed brussel sprouts dressed in a dash of olive oil and the juice of half a lemon.


  1. so that's why the weather is still wintery! ah well it gives me a chance to catch up on winter dishes too

    this shepherd's pie looks great - I am surprised you haven't made one before - they are so easy and delicious - but I have found the potato mash is best fresh so at times I have frozen the filling and made up a mashed potato when I defrost it. I haven't tried the leftovers in sandwiches but now I think I will have to.

  2. Yes, Johanna, try the sandwich! I bet you'd especially like it with a little sharp cheddar thrown in. Thanks for the freezing tips, we haven't tried that yet.

  3. Hi Cindy...

    Glad you enjoyed it... I used a similar lentil filling in a pasta bake last week, but I think (or I hope) that the weather will warm up and there'll be no more winter warmer meals!

    Hannah :)

  4. We did enjoy it very much, Hannah! We have one more winter warmer to post - hopefully some warmer days are on the horizon. :-)