Okay look, I get it, this is not a Shepards pie. I know what a shepards pie is and this really is not it. But, by using lentils instead of a veggie mince replacement (Quorn etc) you are upping the fiber content whilst still getting in protein. The celeriac and butterbean mash may also seem blasphemous, but this alternative creates a genuinely light and fluffy mash that is so much quicker to make and still tastes great (this is not to say I don’t have time for proper mash when that is all will satisfy me).
It is definitely an interesting spin on a classic and I promise the flavour of this pie will not disappoint. This is definitely a winner for veggies looking for a hearty evening meal on these cold nights. BUT, for those looking for an authentic British shepards pie… look away now…
Serves: 4 Cook time: 1.5 hours
For the pie filling:
- ½ cup dried red lentils
- 2-3 leeks thinly sliced
- 4 celery stalks finely diced
- 2 carrots finely diced
- 3 tbsps red wine vinegar
- 600 ml veg stock
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp marmite
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the mash:
- 1 medium sized celeriac- peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 can of butter beans
- 4 tbsps of quark or greek yoghurt – alpro’s Greek style plain is a good vegan alternative or you could even try 75g of pureed silken tofu
- 1 egg – omit the egg if veganising the recipe
- ½ tsp mustard powder
Boil the celeriac in salted water until tender (a normal knife should easily be able to cut through). Drain and allow to cool whilst you cook the filling.
Gently saute the leeks, celery and carrots with the thyme into a high sided pan, until the veg and thyme becomes aromatic and the celery becomes slightly translucent. Next, add the tomato paste and lentils and stir to combine all ingredients. Add the marmite and the red wine vinegar and stir once again. Then, add the veggie stock and bring the pan to boil. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. You’ll know its done when the mixture has thickened and the lentils are tender and a little mushy. If the mixture is looking a little dry/too thick during the cooking process just add some water
Whilst your filling is cooking away, add the cooled celeriac and drained butter beans into a food processor and pulse until roughly combined. Add the egg, mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to pulse until combined, then add the quark (or vegan alternative) until desired consistency is achieved (I like the mash on top of my pie to be really smooth, so that when it cooks in the oven it gets super light and fluffy).
Once the lentils are cooked, transfer to an oven-safe pie dish (or individual pie dishes). Add the celeriac and butter bean mash on top, making sure to cover the whole of the filling. If you want to get fancy, you can make a little pattern with a fork on the top. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and the filling is bubbling away.
Serve with your chosen veg (I went with garlic sauteed broccoli)…. and enjoy hoes.