I’ve been on a bit of a mission recently to eat more vegetables. Since I’ve been tracking my fruit & veg intake in my bullet journal, I’ve noticed that some days I eat woefully little veg.
So, in my hunt for veggie rich recipes, I came across a recipe for a Vegan version of Shepherds Pie using lentils. The recipe I found looked fairly bland, so I decided to have a crack at making my own.
My colleague Mark has affectionately dubbed this a Farmers Pie, seeing as there’s no lamb, and although the lack of meat means it doesn’t taste like a traditional shepherd’s pie, it’s actually pretty delicious, even if I say so myself!
Farmers Pie (Vegan Shepherds Pie)
100g green lentils
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
2 ribs of celery
1 green pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
A few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
100ml red wine
1 can chopped tomatoes
4 medium or 3 large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp butter
Salt & pepper
Can of baked beans (optional)
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan.
- If using dried lentils, cook according to packet instructions, but take them off the heat and drain about 10 minutes before the instructions state.
- Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, then set aside for later.
- Finely dice the onion, carrots and celery. This combination makes up a traditional mirapoix, but I also like to add green pepper, so finely dice that too.
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sweat the onion, carrot, celery and green pepper. You want the veggies to soften, but not brown.
- Next add the red wine. You want the flavour of the red wine but not the alcohol, so allow to cook for a few minutes or until the wine has reduced slightly
- Next add the can of tomatoes, thyme and chilli powder (if using). Stir well and allow to simmer
- While the vegetables are cooking, boil the sweet potatoes in salted water. You want them to be tender when you poke them with a knife or a fork, but not mush. This took me about 20 minutes, but check them after 10. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
- Once the lentils are nearly cooked, add them to the vegetable sauce, season and stir well. Add the splash of balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat.
- Add the butter to your sweet potatoes and mash until smooth.
- Now you’re ready to make this into a pie! I like to add a can of baked beans to the bottom of my Shepherds Pie, so I decided to do the same with this. You don’t have to, but if you like beans then I recommend it
- Layer the lentil mixture on the beans, then top with the mashed sweet potato
- Bake in the oven for around 10-15 minutes. You don’t want the top to burn, but you want to get the sauce underneath hot enough to be bubbling.
- Serve in big slabs with garlic bread and a green salad.
Let me know what you think!