Lentil Shepherd’s Pie is a rustic hearty culinary delight. This meat-free wonder is a great portion of vegetable protein suitable for those who try to limit meat consumption. Vegetarian shepherd’s pie is your comfort food, especially during cold evenings.
Although this nutritious recipe is best when hot, Shepherd’s pie is excellent when served the second day as a cold dish. The combination of sauteed vegetables with spices, enriched with the hearty lentils along with the hat of fluffy mashed potatoes will conquer everyone’s hearts.
What is Shepherd’s Pie?
Shepherd’s Pie is the absolute embodiment of rustic simple yet sustaining food. The recipe has many variations and comes out delicious with different combinations of ingredients. Basically, the variations have been dictated by the regions where it was cooked. Also, the outcome of the dish was influenced by the available seasonal vegetables. The basic ingredient of the original recipe is the ground meat, usually red meat. The meat is complemented by different vegetables such as onion, garlic, celery, peas, and carrots. The original recipe also teaches to top with mashed potatoes the sauteed ground meat along with the vegetables. The final accord of it is baking the result to deliciousness.
Shepherd’s Pie recipe also modified to fulfill the tastes and needs of people who chose to eat meatless food. Thus, the ground meat was substituted with lentils, which is a very good source of vegetable protein. That was one of the best modifications this recipe could have gotten. Although it does not contain any meat, it is still super hearty and is fastly digested, which is healthy. Mainly for that reason, I adore cooking this version of the vegetarian casserole for my family whenever I crave for something homelike.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
This recipe is a mixture of basic and simple ingredients you can find at any time in any grocery store. Moreover, these ingredients are available all year round with no exception. Most of them are probably already in your kitchen. So, here’s the list of ingredients to getting the beautifully rustic pie:
- Red lentils
- Green peas
- Red wine
- Almond milk
- Tomato paste
To enhance the taste, try using different dry herbs such as thyme, oregano, and spices such as smoked sweet paprika. You can add any herbs you like most. As you can see, these are very common ingredients that will cost you so little you won’t believe it’s actually possible. Moreover, this recipe I share with you today will feed a big family at a few dollars cost. With my delicious recipe, you can save on a nice bottle of good red dry wine to serve along with this rustic delish dish.
Cooking dishes and pots for the Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
At first, you’ll need one skillet to sautee all the ingredients. Then you shall have one boiling pan to boil the potatoes for the puree. Lastly, you will need one casserole or several ramekins if you want to portion it. Luckily, I have some beautiful rustic clay bowls with lids that correspond to the specific of the dish. I think they perfectly represent the country-like character and original essence of the pie. These clay-bowls perfectly speak that delicious food is simple food, the one that is transmitted through generations, the one that has a history behind its back.
How to cook vegetables for Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie?
Although this recipe involves two-phase cooking, the steps are very easy to follow. Prepare a sharp knife and get all the vegetables together and let the magic begin.
Let’s start by peeling the onion, carrot and the garlic cloves. Then chop everything in small cubes, the onion, carrot, celery, and the garlic. Just make sure you cut the vegetables of the same shape and dimension. This is how you get a beautiful aspect of the dish and have them cooked at the same time.
Put a skillet to heat on the stove and add some tablespoons of olive oil. Then put in the chopped vegetables. Let them become translucent then add one tablespoon of tomato paste and ½ glass of red dry wine and let it evaporate. It will enrich the taste; the vegetables will soak in the wine taste and make them even more delicious. After the alcohol has evaporated, it’s time to add one cup of red lentils and one cup of green peas to the skillet. Let them soak in the juices then add 2 cups of vegetable stock or water. Now it is time to season everything with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and herbs. The lentils need about 15 minutes of simmering to get to be almost fully cooked. Mix once in a while and try the taste. If you feel there is something missing, feel free to add.
How to cook mashed potatoes?
Then, proceed to the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them in small cubes then put them in a pan to boil. Add some salt in the water and wait about 15 minutes until they’re done. Then drain the liquid and take a masher to transform it into a puree. Add the almond milk to soften the consistency and one tablespoon of sunflower oil or vegetable butter. It’s done. Now preheat the oven at 180 degrees and get to the next, final part.
How to layer Shepherd’s Pie?
Now it’s time to get to the artistic part of the cooking. Get the ramekins of the clay bowl and pour the lentils so that about ¾ of the volume is filled. Then take a spoon and add the fluffy mashed potatoes on top, creating an even cap. When you’ve repeated the filling for all the dishes, transfer everything to the already hot oven. Let everything simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the mashed potatoes top has become golden-brown.
Take the baking dishes out of the oven and let rest for about 10-15 minutes, then serve with pleasure!
How to serve the Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
Serve the pie next to a green salad such as arugula salad or next to some marinated tomatoes, or pickles. Choose something sour to accompany the shepherd’s pie. Sour tasted side dishes will be a great companion to the hearty pie and will perfectly balance the flavors.
Hearty Vegetarian Shepherd Pie From Scratch
- boiling pan
- ramekins or clay bowls
- 1 cup lentils red, raw
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 stalk celery
- 1 cup green peas fresh or frozen
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- Peel the vegetables (carrot, onion, garlic) and chop them along with the celery
- Heat olive oil in a skillet and add the chopped vegetables for 5 minutes at medium-low heat
- Add one tbsp tomato paste and one-half glass of red wine and let evaporate
- Add one cup of raw lentils and one cup of beans and let simmer for 1 minute
- Add 2 cups of vegetable stock or water, let simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally
- In the meantime, peel and chop the potatoes. Put to boil in a boiling pan for 15 minutes
- Mash the potatoes and add some salt and 1/2 cup of almond milk
- Take a ramekin or clay bowl and fill 3/4 of it with lentils
- Top everything with a few tablespoons of mashed potatoes
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Place the ramekins or clay dishes in the oven and let bake for 15-20 minutes
- Let rest for 10 minutes and serve with pleasure