It's SO COLD! Just as you think spring is around the corner, you're hit with the lowest temperatures of the year. I guess it's the best send off winter could give us before we're met with long days and just the memory of a more icy time. Well, knowing the UK, it'll still be cold...but I suppose we can dream of sunnier, warmer days.
At the very least it gives us a reason to prolong our cosying around and eat warming foods, like this lentil Shepherd's Pie. It's easy to make and feels like a big hug when you eat it. My favourite part is that it's so adaptable, use whatever vegetables, potatoes or milk you have and it'll still turn out perfectly! Not to mention the leftovers are just the best! I don't know what it is about Shepherds Pie, but if I weren't to stop myself, I could probably eat the whole tray.
Anyway, without further ado and needless chatter, I'll leave you to the recipe. But be sure to eat it with some company and a few candles lit, just to get the whole atmosphere perfect and you know...really give the meal some respect. Or if you're coming in from the freezing cold, huddled up on the sofa with a bowl of this is just bliss.
P.S The ingredients list may seem long, but trust me it isnt't! Most of them are things you'll already have at home and lot of them are just spices!
- 1 cup cooked Brown Lentils
- 1.5 cups Mushrooms (diced)
- 1 cup Chopped Tomatoes (tinned)
- 1 Onion (diced)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Large Carrot (diced)
- 1/2 cup chopped Walnuts
- 1.5 tbsp Honey/sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, 1/2 tsp Turmeric, 1/2 tsp Dried Rosemary, Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp Soy Sauce/ Tamari
- 1 cup Hot Water
- 3-4 Large Potatoes (about 1.2kg)
- 5 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup Milk (I use unsweetened Oat/Almond alternative)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- Chop the onions and garlic and sauté them in olive oil with a pinch of salt
- Once soft, add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the carrot and walnuts) and leave to simmer on a medium-high until it reduces
- After about 20 mins, add the carrot and walnuts and bring down to a low heat for about 5-10 mins,
- Whilst it simmers, prepare the potatoes
- Roughly chop the potatoes and boil until soft (takes about 10-15 mins), then drain
- Add the olive oil, milk, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast and mash until smooth (not for too long though!)
- You may need to add more milk, depending on the kind of potatoes you use. So add accordingly
- Preheat the oven to 200°C Fan/180°C
- Add the lentil mixture to a deep tray and cover with the mashed potatoes, using a spoon to dollop the potatoes all over the surface
- Use the back of a fork to score the surface and drizzle with a little olive oil
- Bake for 20-25 mins, and serve!