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Shepherds pie recipe: Vegan MoFo

Shepherd's pie is one of those dishes that, if you can find someone in England that hasn't heard of it or eaten it, I'll give you a tenner. It's almost as ubiquitous in England as queuing, complaining about the weather and warm beer.

The original version of shepherds pie is a layer of mince and carrots covered with a layer of mashed potatoes. It's got lots of characteristics about it that makes me think of typical English food: cheap meat, root veggies, being left in the oven for ages.

According to the source of all such trivia, Wikipedia, it's reckoned shepherd's pie rose to popularity in the 18th century, and has been turning up on English tables ever since.

I remember a lot of it turning up on my plate as a kid, certainly, and not always being welcome there.

Still, I wasn't altogether upset when Vegan MoFo gave me a push to cook it again - it's the sort of stuff that warms you up when the weather's cold, and proper sticks to your ribs.

Because it's such a familiar dish in English cooking, and not an overly complex one, there's loads of veggie and vegan version out there. This one's mine.

Vegan shepherd's pie

Serves about 4, I reckon

Oil for frying
One onion, sliced into thin half moons
One leek, sliced into 1cm coins
One large carrot into 1cm dice
Two sticks of celery, cut into 1cm dice
150g red lentils
150g green lentils
One tin tomatoes
Four sprigs of thyme
Bay leaf
Vegan Worcestershire sauce
one-quarter bottle wine
350mls vegetable stock
Two tablespoons tomato puree
One and a half brown miso
700g potatoes, cut into quarters
Soy milk
Oil/vegan margarine

How you do it
Fry the onion for a couple of minutes, then add the onion, leek, carrot, and celery and fry for a further five minutes until a bit softened.

Add the red and green lentils, tinned tomatoes, wine, stock, thyme, bay leaf, a couple of shakes of Worcestershire sauce, and tomato puree. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer until lentils are cooked.

While that's going on, boil the potatoes until soft, then mash and add a bit of milk to make a loose mash. Add some oil or vegan marge if you like. Add a bit of white pepper if you've got some knocking about. At some point along the way, preheat your oven to 210C.

Cooking the lentils should take 30 to 40 minutes. You want most, but not all of the liquid gone. When they're done, fish out the bay leaf and thyme springs, then add the brown miso and black pepper if you fancy. (You could leave it cool then freeze at this point. You might also find you've got a bit of spare lentil mix!)

Put the lentil mix into an ovenproof dish, then top with the mash.

Bake til the mash starts to get tiny brown bits on top - another half an hour.

And then serve with veggies and a bit of gravy!

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  1. Oh, that looks so hearty & filling! I'm not ready to give up summer just yet, but a shepherd's pie like this would ease the pain a bit.

  2. Shepherds pie is one of my faves! This looks so yummy!

  3. I'll take a Shepherd's Pie recipe from an Englishman any day! ;) Happy MoFo. Feel kinda' bad I'm not participating but it's a bit hard with the book out and all that's going on. I will enjoy your posts.

  4. I'm so glad that you posted this! My fellows love shepherds pie and your version sounds fairly similar to one I used to make except for the miso - I'm definitely going to try this out!

  5. I'm still clinging desperately to my summer eats, but in another month or so, this will absolutely hit the spot. Mashed potatoes are probably one of my favorite things about Thanksgiving, now that I think about it, so I wonder if I would be able to sneak a shepherd's pie onto the festive table. It sounds like a delicious idea to me!

  6. I am game with lentils potatoes and veggie sin any form! yes to this pie

  7. I am a serious lentil love so this looks like heaven to me!

  8. Yummo! We defo had Shepherd's Pie made by my mum (she's English) and I think I've made a vegan version, but I will be trying out your recipe!

  9. Damn that looks gooooood! Super filling and hit-the-spot kind of meal. Mmmm.

  10. Yup, that'll do just fine. Tucking this one away for when it gets cold out...which will probably be two weeks from now.

  11. Oooh the lentil layer looks incredible! I don't think I've ever had a vegan shepherd's pie. When it cools down a bit, I've gotta do that for sure.

  12. I have to admit that I've only ever had a vague idea of what Shephard's pie was; now I'm intrigued!

  13. We've made shepherd's pie a few times lately, I love it! It's awesome that you make it with lentils, I keep meaning to do that. I like making three layers too - a meat layer, veg layer, and mashed tater layer. The last time we mashed in some grainy mustard and horseradish to the potatoes and it was heavenly.

  14. Oh, I'm so looking forward to all of these recipes! I make my version also with lentils. So good. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I love shepherd's pie! I haven't made it yet this year but you'd better bet I'm gonna soon.

  16. That looks great! I love the idea of using lentils instead of faux meats. Hah we both (sort of) blogged about Shepherd's Pie today!

  17. This absolutely reminds me of childhood - winter weeknights, specifically. I need to make this once the weather turns. Mmm. . .

  18. I love the extra thick layer of mashed potatoes on top. Shepherds pie is the epitome of comfort food.

  19. Mmmmmm I get so happy when I see this recipe! Sheperd's pie is my favorite English food along with pies and chips! What brand did you use for the worcestshire sauce or did you make your own? I love your step-by-step photos, it's very helpful plus the loads of mashed potatoes = HEAVEN.

  20. Yumm! I just made some worcestshire sauce so I may have to make this real soon!

  21. Worcestershire sauce is not vegan

    1. Not all vegan Worcestershire sauces are vegan, that's true, but many are, including this one: http://www.veganstore.co.uk/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=037#.UpcvIMS-3Ak, which I use. Given FlickingtheVs is a vegan blog, I thought people would take it as read that I was referring to vegan Worcestershire sauce in the recipe, but maybe not! So to make that extra super clear for anyone that's confused, I've put 'vegan' in front of 'Worcestershire sauce' in the recipe. I hope that clears it up for you!


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