Our Daring Cooks challenge for December was to recreate that classic dish, Shepherd’s Pie. My vegetarian version varies a little from the recipe we were provided because Miss D is allergic to mushrooms and I had run out of a couple of things. I also added grated cheese to the topping because I had a block of cave d’or Gruyère in the fridge and couldn’t help myself.
1 1/2 cups milk
salt to taste
1 cup Gruyère, grated
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 litre vegetable stock (I used concentrate and reconstituted it with the boiling water from the lentils)
2 tbsp cornstarch
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup dried green/brown lentils
1 tsp salt
1 litre water
3 bay leaves
2 sweet potatoes
250g green beans
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 230°C.
Bake unpeeled potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes.
Let cool, then peel and mash potatoes, either using a potato ricer or hand masher.
Add butter and milk, mashing until it’s all mixed in and potatoes are creamy and lump free. Stir in 3/4 cup grated Gruyère, season to taste and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in saucepan and add onions. Cook until tender over medium heat, 10-12 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Add wine, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the pan. Bring to a simmer.
Add stock and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water in separate bowl.
Add cornstarch to boiling sauce, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
Continue to simmer till sauce is thickened. Season to taste and set aside.
Add lentils, salt and bay leaves to heavy saucepan. Cover with 4 cups (1 litre) of water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain, reserving liquid for stock if using powder or concentrate, discard bay leaves and set aside.
Peel and chop pumpkin, carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and place in a baking dish in a single layer. Toss with olive oil and roast until just tender, about 30 minutes, turning once.
Chop green beans into pieces and steam/microwave for 5 minutes.
Reduce oven to 180°C.
Combine lentils, roasted vegetables, green beans and parsley in a large baking dish. Pour sauce over vegetable mixture and gently stir through. Top with potatoes, spread evenly over the filling and sprinkle over the other 1/4 cup grated Gruyère.
Place on foil lined cookie sheet as mixture may bubble over. Bake until browned and bubbly, approximately 30 minutes. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ December 2012 Hostess is Andy of Today’s the Day and Today’s the Day I Cook! Andy is sharing with us a traditional French Canadian classic the Paté Chinois, also known as Shepherd’s pie for many of us, and if one dish says comfort food.. this one is it!
Download the printable .pdf here.