With the cold Winter days ahead, I love nothing more than a warm, comforting meal of an evening. I must admit that, despite eating a much wider variety of foods than I ever thought I would, I do still love to go back to an old favourite.. mashed potato. Height of sophistication, eh??
This Lentil Shepherds Pie has been a hit at my little pop up restaurant, The Hidden Veggie Kitchen. The sauce I make to go with the Lentils is really a Gravy but it has such fab flavours, is a lovely texture and I think it really makes all the difference. Enjoy.
Ingredients ( Serves 6 )
For the Sauce :
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 large thyme sprig ( dried Thyme works fine too )
large knob of butter
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Marmite (optional, but it does add colour and depth)
1 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1l vegetable stock
soy sauce, to taste
300g tin of Brown Lentils
For the topping:
1kg new potatos
25g Gouda, grated
For the Sauce :
Fry the veg and herbs in the butter for 10-12 mins until the vegetables start to brown. Scatter over the sugar and continue to cook until sticky and caramelised. Stir in the flour until sandy, then add the Marmite, if using, tomato purée and vinegar. Pour over the stock, then simmer everything together until you have a thickened sauce. Add soy sauce to season and colour.
Add in the Brown Lentils, stir and then put the mixture into the dish you are using.
Whilst the Sauce is Cooking, tip the potatoes into a pan of water, then boil for about 15 mins until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.
Top the Lentil Mixture with the Mash. Scatter over the cheese ,heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5, then bake for 30 mins until the topping is golden.