Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Cheddar and Lentils – Recipe

Lentils are a great alternative to mince when making a shepherd’s pie. As you’re not getting as much protein as you would with mince, I’ve added a little bit of cheese to the mash topping. It’ll bump up your protein intake and also adds a great bit of extra flavour.

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serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

• 2 red onions

• 2 carrots

• 2 sticks of celery

• 2 cloves of garlic

• a small bunch of fresh rosemary

• 2 x 400g tins of lentils

• olive oil

• 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes

• 200ml vegetable stock, preferably organic

• 1.5kg Desiree potatoes

• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 150g Cheddar cheese, grated

• 100ml whole milk

• a large knob of butter

• 1 fresh nutmeg, for grating

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To prepare and cook your filling

• Peel and roughly chop the onions and carrots

• Trim and roughly chop the celery 
• Peel and finely chop the garlic cloves

• Pick the rosemary leaves, discard the stalks

• Finely chop half of leaves, put the rest to one side

• Drain the lentils

• Heat a large pan on a medium heat

• Add a good lug of olive oil and the onions, carrots, celery and garlic

• Cook gently with the lid on for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until softened

• Add the chopped rosemary leaves, tinned tomatoes and stock and stir well

• Bring to the boil, then add the drained lentils, reduce to a low heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until thick and delicious

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To make your mash topping

• Peel the potatoes, cut them into halves and quarters depending on their size, and put them into a pan of salted, boiling water

• Boil for about 10 minutes until tender

• Stick a knife into them to check they’re soft all the way through

• Drain in a colander and return them to the pan

• Grate the Cheddar cheese

• Add the milk, butter, most of the cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper to the pan

• Finely grate in a few scrapings of nutmeg 
• Mash until smooth and creamy

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To assemble and cook your shepherd’s pie

• Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5

• Transfer the lentil mixture to a large ovenproof baking dish

• Spoon the mash evenly over the top, poke the remaining rosemary leaves into it to decorate and drizzle with olive oil

• Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese, then cook in the hot oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling

• Serve with broccoli or some peas and enjoy.

Thanks to Jamie’s Home Cooking Skills for the recipe.

 

 

 

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