Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

This version of Vegan Shepherd’s Pie is a take on Jamie Oliver’s and, in my opinion, it’s streets ahead of any other similar recipe I’ve come across.  The key to this is the balsamic vinegar, it really gives the dish depth and a richness that’s second to none.  I also chuck in a glug of Tamari and some vegan Worcestershire sauce, for good measure.

If you find you have too much of the lentil/chickpea mix, simply pop the extra to one side and it makes a really tasty lunch on it’s own.  Or, better still, freeze it and you have an instant base for your next Shepherd’s Pie.

This is my go to hug in a bowl winter recipe.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 300 g Maris Piper potatoes
  • 300 g sweet potatoes
  • 40 g dairy-free margarine
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • olive oil
  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms
  • 12 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 100 ml organic vegetable stock
  • 100g of green lentils
  • 400 g tin of chickpeas

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
  2. Peel and chop all the potatoes into small chunks. Place the Maris Pipers into a large pan of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender, adding the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes.
  3. Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan with the margarine and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mash until smooth, then set aside.
  4. Peel and finely slice the onion, carrots and 2 garlic cloves, then trim and finely slice the celery.  Fry off the onions and when tender, add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced.  Then add the carrots and celery and cook for a further 5 minutes. 
  5. Bash the coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until fine, then add it to the pan along with the thyme and garlic.  Cook for a further couple of minutes.
  6. Roughly chop the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
  7. Cook for a further 10 minutes, turn up the heat, and allow it to bubble away. Stir in the stock, lentils and chickpeas, then leave it to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced.
  8. Spread the mash over the top, using a fork to create peaks. 
  9. Place under the grill until golden.  Serve with seasonal veg.

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