A Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect Winter supper and I promise you won’t miss the meat at all. It’s comfort food at it’s best, also very delicious, very good for you and 100% vegan. The le puy lentils are a fabulous protein boost nestled in a tomato red wine sauce with onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, peas and fresh rosemary – yum!!!. Instead of the traditional starchy white potato topping, I opted for a sweet potato and celery root topping with a little vegan butter. A cozy sweater, decorating the Christmas tree and a vegan shepherd’s pie – life is good.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1-2 celery roots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2-3 tablespoons Earth’s Best Butter or unsalted butter
A splash of almond milk
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 fresh sprigs rosemary
1 1/2 cups le puy lentils
1 packet of sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake)
1 – 2 tablespoons tomato puree
1, 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup frozen peas
A generous splash of good balsamic vinegar (optional)
Heat the oven to 400 F
1. Place the lentils in a large heat proof dish, pour boiling water over, place a plate over the top of the dish to cover and allow to soak for 20 minutes. This will soften up the lentils to make sure they are fully cooked by then end of the dish.
2. Place the sweet potatoes and celery root in a large pan of boiling water and cook until tender. Drain, add the butter and almond milk and mash well.
3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil or olive oil in a large saute pan, add the onions and cook on a low heat until translucent, add the celery, carrots, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper and cumin. Continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes. Add the drained lentils, tomato paste, mushrooms, crushed tomatoes and red wine. Stir well to combine. If the mixture is very thick add some water or vegetable stock.
4. Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer and partially cover. Allow to simmer away on the stove for about 40-50 minutes or until the lentils are cooked through. Add the frozen peas. Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar, stir well.
5. Place either a large baking dish or individual small dishes on a baking tray, spoon in the lentil mixture about 3/4 the way up the dish and top with the mashed potato mixture. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the top is just crisping.
6. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes then serve and enjoy.