A good old fashioned Shepherd’s Pie has always been a family favourite in Britain. Whilst the standard combination of traditional mash and minced beef still has a place in meat-eaters’ hearts around the world, now vegetarians and vegans can enjoy their own, tailor-made version of this classic favourite. Sweet replaces savoury in the mashed potato department, and vegetables and spices replace meat in the main body of this culinary delight, with a very different, but equally as good, flavour. The fresh taste of scrummy vegetable combinations comes alive with the tangy taste of ginger and the spices of coriander and cumin, combined with a kick for the tastebuds from the heat of the chilli. Serve at a dinner party to impress your guests, or treat the family to a weekday food pick-me-up.
This yummy evening (or Sunday lunch) dish is also easily adapted into a soup, simply by adding extra stock (and losing the mashed sweet potatoes).
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN SHEPHERD’S PIE
- 1.25kg sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 250g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 400g button mushrooms
- 1sp each turmeric, coriander, cumin, pinch dried chilli flakes
- 250g cooked puy lentils
- 400g can of chickpeas, drained
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 1tbsp cornflour
Boil the sweet potatoes until tender, then mash and season well. You won’t need any butter or oil.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan, then cook the onion, carrots celery and ginger until softened. Add the pepper and mushrooms; cook for a few minutes. Add the spices then stir well for a few minutes. Add the lentils, chickpeas and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Slacken the cornflour with a little cold water. Add to the pan and stir until thickened.
Put the filling into an ovenproof, shallow dish. Spoon over the mash and spread with a fork. Heat the oven to 160C fan, gas 4. Bake for 40 minutes until browned and bubbling. Serve with green vegetables.
Use a teaspoon to peel the ginger - less waste and very speedy!