Shiitake and Green Lentil Shepherds Pie
Let’s start by saying that the goal here is NOT to make “fake mince”, ok? If I’d wanted fake mince I’d have used one of the AWESOME store bought fake minces currently on the market.
The goal here was to make a full plant-based shepherds pie with as few processed ingredients as possible. That was the plan anyway. Then I remembered how important fat is to mashed potatoes, and it all sort of went down-hill from there.
Regardless, this is a bonkers good shepherds pie recipe which you are legally obliged to make for any person who struggles with the concept of umami. Trust me - it will convert them!
Makes one rather deep 25x15cm pie!
For the Mash Topping
2 large Maris piper potatoes
4 tbsp vegan butter
5 tbsp vegan cream (I use oatly)
For the Filling
40g Dry shiitakes
500ml boiling water
1 tin green lentils (drained)
1/8tsp fennel seeds (ground in a mortar and pestle)
1 small red onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1tbsp white miso paste
1/2 tsp marmite
1 small carrot (halved and quartered length ways then sliced into 1/2cm quarter circles)
1/4tsp dried thyme
1/4tsp dried sage
1/4tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp dark soy
2 tbsp flour
1tbsp vegan bouillon powder or a stock pot
To Make the Mash
Peel and quarter the potatoes.
Place in a medium saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until a knife slips into the centre easily.
Drain in a colander and leave to steam for 10 minutes.
Once steamed, mash until smooth with a ricer or masher. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining mash ingredients and stir together until smooth!
To Make the Filling
Pour the boiling water over the shiitakes in a small bowl. Cover and leave to hydrate for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the shiitakes, reserving the water (which will become our stock).
Place the hydrated shiitakes in a food processor and pulse blitz lightly until the shiitakes are chopped roughly into mince like constistency. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200c.
In a large saucepan, add three tablespoons of vegetable oil and bring to a medium heat. Add the fennel seeds and toast for a minute. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes. Add the garlic and carrot and fry for another three minutes. If it starts to stick, add a tablespoon of water.
Throw in all of the minced shiitakes and the lentils along with the miso, marmite, soy sauce, herbs and spices and stir for a few seconds.
Add the flour and bouillon. Stir to combine, then pour the mushroom water into the pan through a fine sieve or tea strainer. Stir well and cover with a lid. Leave to cool, stirring occasionally, for around 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Pour the hot filling into an oven proof casserole dish and top with the mash. Drizzle with a little oil and pop in the oven for around 15-20 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy and the sauce is bubbling around the sides.