July 13, 2011

Lentil Shephard's Pie!

The Humble Potato! It can make so many things!

And one of those things is delicious Lentil Shephard's Pie!

When I was growing up, I used to LOVE when my dad made shephard's pie, though his was very simple: Ground beef, frozen peas, potatoes. I loved scraping the potatoes off and eating them separate, never one for the mushy peas and ground beef (even as a child I wasn't a bit meat eater.)

He'd roast them under the broiler so the potatoes would get super crunchy on top, a method I still employ today! I used 3 different types of potatoes- red skinned, white skinned, and purple potatoes (which is why the center of the shephard's pie is a different color!)

Lentil Shephard's Pie
Serves 4
1/3 bouillon cube
1/2 cup water (You can just use 1/2 cup broth instead of the bouillon and water!)
1/2 tbsp cornstarch mixed into 2 tbsp water
1 tsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 tsp Red Miso Paste
a generous sprinkling of dried basil

Potato Layer:
6 small potatoes, cooked and mashed up (no need to peel! The peelings are good for you!)
2 tbsp vegan margarine
3-5 tbsp almond milk (depending on how dry the potatoes are)

Other Layers:
1 cup cooked brown lentils, mashed slightly
1 cup diced tomato
1 cup carrots chopped
1 smallish onion, diced

Preheat the oven to 350
In a sauce pan, heat up the water and bouillon cube until cube is dissolved. Bring to boil
Add in the miso paste and tamari, and whisk around to dissolve.
Slowly add in the cornstarch, turning the heat down to medium, whisking until sauce thickens.
Sprinkle with dried basil, stir to combine, and take off heat.
In a frying pan, fry up the onions and carrots until mostly cooked.
In a  bowl, mix the potatoes, margarine, and almond milk until mixed up and sort of creamy (but still lumpy!)
Spread the mashed lentils on the bottom of a smallish casserole dish. Top with the gravy, then the tomatoes, then the carrot/onion mixture, and finally spread the mashed potatoes over the top.
Spread a bit more vegan margarine on the top, and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 on the medium rack.
Move to the top rack, and broil for 5-10 minutes, until the top is crunchy and browning.

And then Enjoy, because it's delicious. The bottom falls apart a bit, so aesthetics wise it's not the prettiest, but it sure is delicious!

Variations: You can use soy beef for the bottom layer (but it's not gluten free!) or re-hydrated TVP made with veggie beef flavored stock! Any vegetables can be used as well (some ideas: corn, peas, parsnips, and yams would all be nice!)

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