This recipe first appeared in the April 2022 issue of Lincolnshire Life Magazine
This Easter long weekend I only want to eat food that’s packed with flavour and easy to make so that I’m not slaving over a hot stove whilst the family are enjoying each others company in another room. I also want to make big ‘family style’ dishes that sits in the middle of the table and everyone just helps themselves. This root veg and lentil shepherds pie for easter, will please everyone.
It’s packed with lovely fresh veggies and I’m using lentils and vegetarian mince to make it extra rich and filling. I’m also totally cheating with the topping by using my favourite frozen mash. You can boil and mash your own potatoes of course but quite frankly when they make it this good, why bother?
This root veg & lentil shepherds pie for Easter is the ultimate one pot dish (again, what could be better for a family meal than less washing up) and I am using my Denby 30cm cast iron shallow casserole dish with a lid. But it could be done in a large pan that can go from hob to oven or even a roasting tin that can start on the hob.
- olive oil and butter
- 1 onion – finely chopped
- one stick of celery – finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot – finely chopped
- 1/2 leek – finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic – grated
- salt and pepper
- a selection of fresh herbs (I used rosemary and thyme)
- 500g vegetarian mince (you could use lamb mince here)
- 140g ready-cooked lentils
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- one tablespoon plain flour
- 1 teaspoon yeast extract
- one litre good quality vegetable stock
- 1 large glass of red wine (optional)
- 100g frozen peas
- at least 400g frozen mash – defrosted
Pre-heat the oven to 180C (fan)
Place your pan on a medium heat, add a little olive oil and a little butter and throw in the onions, celery and carrot. Stir them until they’re coated and then saute them gently for about 8 mins until they begin to soften.
Next, stir in the garlic, leeks and herbs and sauce for a further 5 mins until the leek is soft. Stir in the mince and let it brown with the veg, then stir in the lentils. Let the whole thing gently sauté for another 5 mins, staring regularly. Finally stir in the flour
Add the tomato puree, then the stock, wine and yeast extract and let it gently bubble away for 5 mins as the sauce thickens. Then stir in the peas.
Prepare the mash how you like it. (I’m using frozen mash which I defrost and add a little more butter for extra fabulousness.) Carefully spread this on the top of your dish. Don’t make the top too smooth, you want a few peaks and troughs so they catch in the oven and turn golden and crispy.
Bake for 30 mins or until the mash is a little golden.
Serve in the centre of the table with a big green salad.
For more pie recipes check these out on Dom in the Kitchen.
Eat and of course, enjoy!