Vegetarian Shepherd's Pies are just delightful: under a rich, creamy potato lid hides a savoury bean and vegetable mix. I have made a few such pies, as a friend of mine has taught me how to make them, but I think that this could be my favourite one. I made the potato mash a little bit more interesting by adding smoky cheese to it.
I can't believe how cool the weather is at the moment again, so any pie is welcome to me. This recipe makes a proud amount of pie, either one large oven dish or 4-6 smaller ramekins. Follow these instructions to make this pie.
25 g butter
1 tsp salt
50 g smoky cheddar
1 cup dried green lentils
1 cup dried mixed beans
4-5 medium shallots
1 tbsp olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves
300 ml dry cider
200 ml vegetable stock
25 g dried porcini mushrooms
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp miso
½ tsp ground black pepper
Soak the beans overnight, if you're also using dried ones (Tinned ones would be ready to go). Boil them heavily for about 15 minutes and then lightly for about an hour. It's a good idea to read the instructions on the packet, as the boiling length depends on the beans.
Rinse the lentils and boil them also for about 20 minutes. Break the porcini mushrooms slightly and soak them for about ten minutes.
Peel the potatoes and boil them in water until soft and mash them. Add the butter, salt and smoky cheddar to make a smooth mash.
Chop the shallots, garlic and carrots finely (carrots into small cubes) and cook them in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Add the cooked and drained beans and lentils with the porcini to the pan.
Then add the cider and let it evaporate. Finally add the bay leaves and vegetable stock and let simmer for a further 15 minutes at least.
Season with miso, salt and black pepper to achieve a savoury mix. Remove the bay leaves before baking.
Place the bean mix into a large oven dish or into small ramekins and top with the smoky potato mash. Little butter can be added to the top. Bake at 175C for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown and enjoy warm.