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Shepherd-less Pie (Ve)

Updated: Feb 8, 2019

This is our vegetarian/vegan adaptation of the traditional Cottage or Shepherd's Pie. So, why is it called Shepherd-less Pie? I like to think it’s because this vegan/vegetarian version is packed with lentils which are so good for you, by eating this you’re looking after yourself. You don’t need a shepherd to watch over you!


Makes sufficient for 4 people

For the filling

250g red lentils

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

1 clove garlic chopped

Handful (e.g. 12 baby tomatoes, or 2 large tomatoes) chopped

1 yellow pepper, cored and sliced thinly

1 teaspoon hot chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1 tablespoon tomato puree

125g mushrooms slices

2 pints or1.2 litres vegetable stock

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

200ml red wine

For the potato topping

You can make this with either white potatoes (e.g. pinks) or sweet potatoes. I prefer white potato mash, but lots of people prefer sweet potatoes, because they're lower carbs.

Sweet potato version of the topping:

950g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

25g butter or sunflower spread

salt and pepper to season

For the white potato topping:

750g (1.5 llbs) potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

30g (1 oz) butter or sunflower spread

2-3 of tablespoons of milk or sweetened soya milk

salt and pepper to season


For the filling

Gently heat the oil in the base of a heavy saucepan. Add the onion and sauté gently until softening. Add the garlic, spices, chopped tomatoes, and sliced yellow pepper and cook gently for 1 minute. Add the dried lentils, along with the vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, red wine and tomato puree, and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked through

Keep checking to make sure the lentil mixture isn't going dry, and if it looks like it needs it, add a little more water during the cooking process.

The mixture is ready when the lentils are cooked through (not chewy when you bite into them) and the excess liquid has boiled off, but it's not dry. Stir the sliced mushrooms into the mix and season. Tip it into the an oven proof 'lasagne' type dish.

Now prepare the potato topping.

For the potato topping

Cook the potato chunks until just tender (the time will vary between the sweet potato and the white potato). I usually put the potatoes in a microwaveable dish and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Add the butter/sunflower spread and the milk, and mash to a pulp until smooth. Season. Dollop spoonfuls of the mash on top of the lentil mixture in the dish, and use a knife to spread out over the top.

Put the dish in the oven for about 20 minutes on 180C, Gas Mark 4 and then serve when ready.

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