Even though winter has come and gone, the weather doesn’t dictate what type of food I want to indulge in, especially if it’s comfort food. I had made a wonderfully hearty lentil shepherd’s pie to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day this year (no green beer involved!) and needless to say, it hit all the right spots…so much so I didn’t even miss the meat!
A traditional shepherd’s pie typically features ground lamb or beef, stewed together in a rich, meat gravy studded with peas, carrots and corn and topped with fluffy mashed potatoes. There are so many variations out there that I decided to throw my own spin on it. Substituting lentils for meat and adding in leeks to the usual suspects of peas and carrots lent a delicate onion flavor. And of course if I’m cooking, red wine will be involved. Wine adds earthiness and depth and the lentils used in this recipe will soak it right up! Are you drooling yet?!
I tried mashing my potatoes with my immersion blender this time around and wow, I am never going back to manually mashing potatoes every again. The blender produced the fluffiest mashed potatoes ever! It was super creamy and easy to smooth out any chunks of potato – too good.
You can have this all done under 1.5 hours – prepping, cooking and baking included. Sunday dinner or weeknight dinner? I think so!
LENTIL SHEPHERD’S PIE – serves 6 – 8
2 lbs russet potatoes, rinsed, peeled and diced
1/3 cup butter
1 cup milk
salt + pepper
3 tbsp vegetable oil
4 shallots, sliced
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
4 small stalks celery, sliced
4 small carrots, diced
½ lb shiitake mushrooms, sliced
½ (6 oz) can tomato paste
4 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup dry red wine
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried green lentils, soaked overnight and cooked
1 cup frozen green peas
2 tsps herbs de provence
2 tsps kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
In a large pot, boil the potatoes in salted water until they may be pierced with a fork easily. Drain and transfer back into the same pot. Add in the butter and milk and mix on low with an immersion blender until smooth and no clumps remain. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
On the stove, heat your cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add in the vegetable oil.
When the oil is hot, add in your shallots and leeks and saute until it has softened.
Add in the carrots, celery, and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste and Dijon mustard and toast.
Slowly add in the red wine to de-glaze the pan and add in the vegetable stock once the wine has evaporated.
Once this comes to a boil, add in the remaining ingredients and lower the heat until most of the liquid has decreased. Cook until all the vegetables are cooked, about 5 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400F and transfer the vegetable filling into a large casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and smooth it out with the back of a fork. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the mashed potatoes are golden.