When you think about it, ‘Shepherd’s Pie’ is a bit of a misnomer. Shepherds don’t spend all day looking after their flock, only to go home and tuck into a plate of Shepherd’s Pie at all. If that were the case, they wouldn’t have much wool to take to market at the end of the month. We spoke to a couple of shepherds to get their take on the situation and it turns out a lot of them are eating something far more sheep friendly... Veggie Shepherd’s Pie!
Organic Cannellini Beans
Red Split Lentils
Vegetarian Worcester Sauce(ContainsGluten)
Boil a large pot of water, then peel and finely chop the carrot, half the onion and garlic into 5mm pieces (if your knife skills allow!). Finely chop the celery and roughly chop the mushrooms. Pull your rosemary leaves off their stalks and finely chop. Lastly, peel and chop the potatoes into roughly 3cm chunks.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non stick frying pan on medium-low heat. Once hot add the carrot, onion, garlic, celery and chopped rosemary. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook for around 8 mins or until the ingredients are nice and soft.
While the veggies are cooking and once the water has come to the boil, add the potatoes to the boiling water with ¼ tsp of salt. Cook them for around 10 mins or until you can easily slip a knife through them, then drain them and put them back in the pot. Put the pan on the hob on medium heat for a minute to dry them out, then take it off the heat. Add 4 tbsp of milk and 1 tbsp of butter (if you have them), a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper. Mash everything until you have a nice lump-free mash. Once the mash is ready, just put a lid on and leave to the side for later.
When the carrot, onion, garlic and celery are soft, add the mushrooms and tomato purée to the pan. Drain half the cannellini beans and add them to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes. Refill the tin a quarter with water and add that to the pan along with your lentils and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer for 15-20 mins, until it is thick and the liquid has reduced.
While your veggie bean mixture is simmering, bring another pot of water to the boil, cut your broccoli into florets and grate your cheese. When the sauce has been cooking for 15 mins, add your broccoli into the boiling water with ¼ tsp of salt and cook for 5-6 mins until tender and then drain.
Meanwhile, pre-heat your grill to high. When your veggie bean mixture is thick, put the mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Layer the mashed potato on top and scatter over the grated cheese. Grill your ‘shepherd’s pie’ until it is golden on top.
Serve your pie with a side of broccoli and a big smile.