Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

by angelika on October 27, 2010

We had a horrible storm last weekend, the kind that floods the garage and knocks out the power for most of a day. While I love storms, and mostly don’t mind power outages, after a while it does get a bit cold. Nothing warms me more on a cold autumn night that a stick to your ribs shepherd’s pie. These are so easy to make, and so nourishing. The vegetables and lentils are soft and flavorful and smothered in a cashew mushroom gravy; all wrapped in the homey comfort of warm mashed potatoes.
 
Rough chop potatoes and bring to a boil in salted water. Cook until a knife pierces through easily.Boil the lentils with two inches of water above. When they are al dente remove from heat. Add tamari, salt, and balsamic to water. Steep for 10 minutes.
Dice all of your vegetables into bit sized pieces. Heat oil in a large saute pan and saute the onion and shallot until just starting to take on some color. Add the garlic and saute another minute. To this add your carrot and thyme and saute for 5 minutes. Add the celery and the broccoli and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the corn and peas, I used frozen which gave some water content. If you are using fresh- add a tablespoon of water. Cover and let them steam for 5 minutes. Add the tamari and salt and pepper to taste. Set the veggies aside.
 
When the potatoes are done remove them from the heat and drain them.  Put the potatoes back into the cooking pot and mix in your milk and butter, using a hand mixer or a potato masher. You can use any kind of milk from cow to soy, and real butter or a butter substitute like Earth Balance. Just make sure, if you are using an alternative milk, that it isn’t flavored. Vanilla and mashed potatoes are not friends. (from one who may have made that mistake at some point…way way in the past)
Saute the butter and flour for a couple of minutes whisking constantly. Add the soup mix and whisk. Add the cashew powder and seasonings, stir to combine. If your gravy seems to thick you can thin it with a touch of water.
 I truly believe this mushroom gravy recipe is the star of the show. It is incredibly versatile. It was born from my desire to make an omnivore ex of mine biscuits and gravy for breakfast. The cashews give a robust fattiness to the gravy, apparently reminiscent of sausage gravy. I could, and perhaps sometimes do, eat it by the spoonful. If you have extra it freezes well, you just need to add some water when you reheat it. The extra mushroom soup also freezes well, so I always put the other half of the soup- since the carton is 4 cups- into the freezer. This gravy was actually made from frozen soup! 
Now all you have to do is assemble. Some people like to mix the lentils into the veggies, and you are welcome to do so if you are this person. I like to layer it, for no particular reason other than I like the look of it.
lentil layer (you may end up with extra lentils)
veggie layer
gravy layer
potato layer
Make sure to bake this on a sheet pan- it usually bubbles over. Make a little hole in the center to help steam escape dot with butter and sprinkle paprika if so desired. Bake at 400º for 40-50 minutes until the top is golden.
Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Then sit down and enjoy your warming honey goodness. Rainy day not required.
Lentil Shepherd's Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Comfort food on a plate, a vegan Shepherd's pie with the most amazing cashew mushroom gravy to be imagined.
Author:
Recipe type: entree, main
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 5-8 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • 3 tbs butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1½ cups dried lentils
  • 1 tbs tamari
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ onion, diced
  • large shallot, diced
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup corn
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 1 stalk celery diced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Mushroom Gravy
  • ¼ cup cashews, pan toasted and ground to a powder
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 cups mushroom soup, (I use Imagine creamy portobello soup)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ tsp sage
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp tamari
Instructions
  1. Rough chop potatoes and bring to a boil in salted water.
  2. Cook until a knife pierces through easily.
  3. Boil the lentils with two inches of water above.
  4. When they are al dente remove from heat.
  5. Add tamari, salt, and balsamic to water.
  6. Steep for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  8. Dice all of your vegetables into bit sized pieces.
  9. Heat oil in a large saute pan and saute the onion and shallot until just starting to take on some color. Add the garlic and saute another minute. To this add your carrot and thyme and saute for 5 minutes. Add the celery and the broccoli and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the corn and peas, I used frozen which gave some water content. If you are using fresh- add a tablespoon of water. Cover and let them steam for 5 minutes. Add the tamari and salt and pepper to taste. Set the veggies aside.
  10. When the potatoes are done remove them from the heat and drain them. Put the potatoes back into the cooking pot and mix in your milk and butter, using a hand mixer or a potato masher. You can use any kind of milk from cow to soy, and real butter or a butter substitute like Earth Balance.
  11. To make the gravy saute the butter and flour for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
  12. add the mushroom soup and whisk.
  13. add the cashew powder and seasonings and stir to combine.
  14. In a gratin dish, casserole or other oven safe vessel, layer the lentils, vegetables and then add gravy.
  15. Cover with mashed potatoes, leaving a vent hole in the middle.
  16. Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika (optional)
  17. Bake at 400 degrees  for 40-50 minutes until top is golden.
  18. Let the dish cool for 10 minutes before serving.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

NonnyN October 31, 2010 at 11:51 pm

oh WOW does this make me hungry – and all warm and fuzzy too! Can't wait to make it.

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Shelby November 7, 2010 at 2:14 am

Made this last night. Another success!! I have to say I was really skeptical of the cashew mushroom gravy but oh my god we loved it! I poured some of the left over gravy on top because I just could not get enough. Ate leftovers for dinner tonight. Will definitely make this again!!

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Kate January 13, 2011 at 11:32 pm

We made this last night (although I made a different gravy becuse Lily doesn't like mushrooms) and LOVED it … definitely making this again (and again and again)!!

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Angelika January 16, 2011 at 3:37 am

I'm so glad you liked it!

Reply

Kate February 23, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Just an update … this is now made on an almost weekly basis here … both kids love it as does the (usually meat eating) husband!!!

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