It's Good Friday! And do you know what that means? It means that unless you planned ahead, you'll be driving to gas stations in Quebec to buy booze with a bunch of other disorganized Ontarians. And if you're lucky, your boyfriend will buy you a Lisa Simpson key chain while you're there.
So yeah. The Man of Science and I spent all of our driving-around energy on the aforementioned booze and key chain run, which left me with no ambition to truck around town trying to find dinner ingredients. Next year I'll remember about Easter, I swear. Luckily, the House of Science had enough in the pantry to make this delicious shepherd's pie.
I know a lot of vegan cooks like to make their shepherd's pie as traditionally as possible, but I for one am always disappointed when presented with a meal of TVP in tomato sauce topped with potatoes. I'm not a big TVP fan and besides, that meal needs more vegetables.
So, dear readers, I present you with this recipe for a more vegetabley version of the humble shepherd's pie. It was the perfect way to soak up the beer in our bellies.
Vegan Shepherd's Pie
5 large white potatoes, boiled and mashed
1 cup brown lentils
1 bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp basil
3 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup corn
1 heaping tbsp light miso
1 cup water
salt and pepper
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Boil and mash your potatoes as you normally would. Remember the holy trinity of salt, oil, and unflavoured soy milk.
Cook the lentils with the bay leaf. I used three cups of water to the one cup of lentils.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a skillet or frying pan, saute onion and garlic until onion is tender. Add celery, rosemary, basil, and wine vinegar.
Dump in the lentils and whatever cooking liquid is left in their pot. Remove bay leaf.
Add corn and let mixture simmer for a minute.
Add miso and gradually add water. Mixture should now have some liquid in it, but not be overly soupy.
When celery is softened, add parsley and salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Spread mashed potatoes over top of lentil mixture and bake in the oven until the filling gets bubbley, about ten minutes. I put some soy parmesan, pepper, and basil on top of my potato crust before putting it in the oven.
You can let it sit under the broiler for another three to five minutes if you want the potato crust to brown up nicely.
-One of the very practical tips I learned from watching Jamie Oliver on TV is this: when you are doing a mish mash dish like this with a lot of ingredients, cut everything up to be around the same size so it is more pleasant to eat. For this one I tried to cut up my onions and celery to be small like the corn and the lentils.
-For mashed potatoes, I always add a few cloves of garlic to the potatoes during the boiling period. When it is time to mash them, the garlic is soft and just gets mashed in too. It gives them a nice, subtle garlicy flavour.
-The Man of Science had three helpings of this, proclaiming its deliciousness multiple times.