On Sundays I usually meal plan for the week. I write out all the events of the week on one white board and then correspond my meal plan accordingly on another white board. On Sundays, if we are home, I like to make a big meal that can be eaten for Sunday night’s dinner as well as for one other meal during the week and perhaps lunches too if there is enough left over.
Sometimes I will accept requests. Only sometimes because my family can be unrealistic about what is weekday doable in terms of meals. On one such day Adam requested Shepherd’s Pie. I was feeling particularly generous so I agreed.
I have to say, it turned out to be a great request! It wasn’t the easiest or fastest meal I’ve ever made but when it came together it had a real WOW factor and the taste was WOW too!
The filling of this pie is lentil based, hearty and thick. Adam and I are mashed potato fans so I made the pie with a generous topping of it though this could easily be cut down or even topped with a yam mash if you prefer. And gravy of some kind is definitely needed to serve with the pie; this Mushroom Gravy is the perfect pairing.
Honestly the pie makes enough to feed a small army. Need a vegan dish to bring to a potluck or party? This is the one! For our leftovers, Adam froze individual servings of the pie in Ziploc bags with gravy for lunches. He said they re-heated wonderfully; less pie like in shape but same delicious taste. Or you could simply half the recipe if you aren’t in need of leftovers.
This is a perfect make ahead meal. Make it on a day when you have time, cover it up with tin foil and plastic wrap, throw it in the fridge, and forget about it. And then when the busiest night of your week rolls around, pull out the pie, heat it up and enjoy!
- 2 cups brown lentils, dry
- 5 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 tbsp Bragg Liquid Soy Seasoning
- 2 tbsp poultry seasoning
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- salt, to taste
- 6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
- ¼ cup olive oil (or ¼ - ½ cup vegan margarine)
- ¼ cup soy milk
- salt, to taste
- Rinse the brown lentils in water and remove any debris.
- In a saucepan combine the lentils, water and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a medium. Stir frequently. Lentils are done once they are creamy and most of the water has been absorbed. If all the water gets absorbed and the lentils aren’t done yet add small amounts of water as needed.
- While the lentils are cooking, heat grapeseed oil in another saucepan on medium.
- Add onion, celery and garlic to the oil and sauté until soft. Add carrots.
- Add poultry seasoning, tomato paste and Bragg.
- When carrots are cooked through but still have a bite to them add peas and corn.
- Add the cooked lentils to the vegetable mixture. Stir to combine. Taste, and season as needed.
- Lentil/vegetable mixture should be creamy and moist but not too wet. If mixture is very dry, add some water. If very wet, keep cooking until some of the water has cooked off.
- Boil prepared potatoes in water until fork tender.
- In a large bowl, mash the potatoes by hand with a potato masher until fairly smooth.
- Heat the soy milk until it is warm. Add warmed soy milk and olive oil to the potatoes.
- Use a hand mixer to combine the potatoes, soy milk and olive oil. This will give the potatoes a soft and fluffy texture.
- Season with salt to taste.
- In a large, lightly oiled casserole pan, add lentil filling.
- Flatten the filling until it is compacted down and level.
- Top with mashed potatoes. Flatten gently with the back of a spoon or your hands.
- If you want, drag a fork in vertical lines through the very top of mashed potato topping to add some texture.
- Lightly sprinkle with paprika.
- If storing the pie for another day, cover with tin foil and then with plastic wrap. Store in fridge.
- When ready to cook, remove the plastic wrap cover. Cook the pie, covered in foil, at 350° until heated through, anywhere between 30 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on whether or not it was stored in the fridge.
- When the center of the pie is hot, broil for a few minutes until the mashed potato topping gets slightly browned.
- Serve hot and with gravy on the side.