This traditional and hearty pie is ideal comfort food for a cold wintery night. Shepherds pie or Cottage pie is usually made with ground lamb or beef, winter vegetables and topped with mashed potato. Technically, because this version is topped with bread crumbs, it should be called a Cumberland pie. However, given there is no trace of either beef nor lamb, it is not really Shepherds, Cottage nor Cumberland. Whatever it’s called, this vegan version is a fav in my house, even with the meat eaters. The mince component is replaced with lentils and chick peas, the richness of flavor comes from mushrooms and a point of difference is added by using a combo of regular mashing potatoes with sweet potato.
- 600 g potato peeled and chopped
- 600 g sweet potato peeled and chopped
- 40 g vegan margarine
- 1 onion diced
- 3 carrots sliced
- 4 cloves garlic crushed
- 3 sticks celery sliced
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds crushed in mortar and pestle
- 20 ml olive oil
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme chopped
- 350 g mushrooms chopped
- 270 g sun dried tomatoes, jar of sliced
- 60 ml balsamic vinegar
- 125 ml red wine
- 125 ml vegetable stock
- 240 g cooked lentils drained and rinsed*
- 240 g cooked chickpeas drained and rinsed*
- 5 sprigs flat leaf parsley chopped
- 2 pinch salt
- 2 pinch black pepper
- 500 ml water
- 2 tablespoon plain flour
- 2 tablespoon corn flour
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves chopped
- 50 g breadcrumbs
- 20 ml olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F
- Place potatoes into a large pot of cold salted 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.
- 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.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the coriander, onion, carrots celery and 3 of the garlic cloves.
- Add the thyme leaves, and cook for around 10 minutes, or until softened.
- Add the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes, along with the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar.
- Cook for a further 10 minutes, then add wine, turn up the heat, and allow it to bubble away. Stir in the stock, lentils and chickpeas, and cook for a further 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced.
- Stir in the parsley and season to taste,
- Mix the flours and water in shaker and add to the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes to allow to thicken.
- Transfer to a baking dish (roughly 25cm x 30cm), or 8 11cm/375ml ramekins.
- Spread the mash over the top, scuffing it up with a fork.
- Place garlic into a bowl with the rosemary leaves, breadcrumbs and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix well, sprinkle over the mash, then place in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until piping hot through.
- Place under the grill for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden, then serve with seasonal greens.