Lentil and black bean SHEPHERD’S pie

To get a super-crispy topping, I used a fork to create little slopes on the mashed potatoes, then topped it with grated parmesan to get a nice surface while baking.

A humble and inexpensive English classic dish to serve a big crowd. I am substituting ground meat with green lentils and black beans to make it plant-based. Alternatively you can use other legumes such as pinto or kidney beans, or even black-eyed peas.

To get a super-crispy topping, I used a fork to create little slopes on the mashed potatoes, then topped it with grated parmesan to get a nice surface while baking. Serve with a light, crunchy salad on the side to complete the meal.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients

450g cremini mushrooms, diced into 2 cm pieces

1 leek (discard stem and dark green part), thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and diced

1 medium yellow onion, trimmed and finely chopped

2 large garlic clove, minced

½ cup dried green lentils

1 cup soaked, dried black turtle beans

7-8 small potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters

300 g passata

½ cup grated parmesan

Olive oil for frying

Seasonings

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp dried chili flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe Preparation

Preheat oven at 180℃, fan assisted and broil function.

Cook lentils and black beans until soft but not mushy. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.

Steam potato quarters in a steamer for 20 minutes or until soft. Test with a fork by poking it all the way through. If the fork comes out without any resistance, potato is ready. Let cool while you are preparing the remaining ingredients.

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium high. Sweat onion, garlic, leek, and mushrooms until mushrooms shrink to half their size and onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Lower heat if vegetables stick to pan. Add carrot and continue to stir and fry until all vegetables are soft.

Add cooked lentils and black beans into Dutch oven, together with vegetables. Add all seasonings and stir to coat. Add passata and stir until everything is well combined. Mixture should be similar to the consistency of a Bolognese sauce. Remove from heat and set aside.

In food processor, puree potato quarters in batches, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Pour lentil and bean mixture into 9″ x 12″ non-stick baking tray and flatten with spatula. Then, using a large spoon, spread mashed potatoes evenly onto the lentil and bean mixture.

Use a fork to make shallow gaps on the mashed potatoes to create an extra-crispy surface while baking. Sprinkle grated parmesan evenly onto the mash and season again with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Set pie on middle rack and bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with a light, crunchy salad.

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