You will not miss the meat in this rich and filling vegetable and lentil pie. A vegetarian alternative to Shepherds pie, the lentils make a great substitute for mince producing a dish that is just as satisfying as the meat version.
How are your new year’s resolutions going? I haven’t made many, but one thing I hope to do this year is eat more meat-free meals. Of course I shall be sharing some of my favourites with you. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my meat and by no means do I intend to become a vegetarian, but most of us eat more meat than we need, myself included. It has the bonus of being easy on the purse so that has to be a good thing too.
Step by Step
Vegetable and Lentil Bake
For the filling
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 large leek washed and sliced
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 250 g brown or green lentils
- 750 ml water
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 150 g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
- 2 tbsp mushroom ketchup or brown fruity sauce
- 1 tsp each dried thyme rosemary and oregano
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
- 450 g floury potatoes peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1inch chunks
- 450 g celeriac peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1inch chunks
- 50 g butter
- 4 tbsp milk
- Heat the oil and gently cook the leek, celery and carrot for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Rinse the lentils and add to the pan. Add the water and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the lentils are just tender.
- Stir in the mushrooms, mushroom ketchup or brown fruity sauce, and dried herbs. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix the cornflour with a little water to a smooth paste and stir in. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste, then spoon into a large ovenproof dish. Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6.
- Meanwhile make the topping. Cook the potatoes and celeriac in lightly salted boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes or until just tender. Drain well. Add the butter and milk and mash well.
- Carefully spoon the mash over the lentil mixture and bake in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes until the top is crisp and golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving
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