Comfort food is often associated with long, slow cooking, but after a tough day at work, I just don’t have the patience for it. That’s where my vegan shepherds pie with Puy lentils comes in.
This vegan shepherds pie recipe dispenses with lamb altogether, instead using Puy lentils. Canned lentils are cheap, easy to work with and don’t need long to cook.
I took some leftovers of this into my office one day, where my colleague Mark affectionately dubbed it a Farmers Pie due to its lack of lamb, but whatever you call it, it’s delicious and satisfyingly easy to make.
Vegan Shepherds Pie
This gorgeous vegan shepherds pie replaces lamb with lentils in a rich red wine sauce, with a sweet potato topping.
- 1 can green lentils
- 4 medium sweet potatoes ((or 3 large))
- 1 medium onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 ribs of celery
- 1 green pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 100 ml red wine
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Vegan spread or butter if you’re not vegan
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 can baked beans (optional)
- Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan.
- Drain and rinse the lentils, then set aside.
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.
Peel and dice the sweet potatoes, pop into boiling salted water. You want to cook the potatoes until tender when poked with a fork, but not mushy. It took me about 20 minutes but check after 10.
- 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 2-3 minutes or until the wine has reduced slightly.
- Next add the can of tomatoes, thyme and chilli powder (if using). Stir well and bring to a simmer.
- Now add the drained lentils to the vegetable sauce, season and stir well. Add the splash of balsamic vinegar, cook for a further 5 minutes, then remove from the heat.
- Drain the sweet potatoes and return to the pan. Add butter or Vegan alternative to your sweet potatoes, season 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. 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 20 minutes. You don’t want the top to burn, but you want to get the sauce underneath hot and bubbling.
- Serve in big slabs with garlic bread and a green salad.
If you don’t fancy vegan shepherds pie but do want some veggie comfort food, have a look at my Roasted Vegetable Lasagne recipe.