This is a dead ringer for a real Shepherd’s Pie, with a dark and inky mushroom and lentil base in lieu of the usual minced lamb, and a crispy rösti top made with celeriac instead of potato. That’s not to say that if mash is an essential part of the comfort factor that it cannot stand in. This dish is high in fibre, and a source of vitamin C, folic acid and protein.
- 6 tablespoons groundnut oil
- 2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 long red peppers, cores and seeds discarded, cut into 1cm (1/2 in) dice
- 2 celery sticks, from the heart, trimmed, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
- 300g (10-1/2 oz) chestnut mushrooms, stalks trimmed
- 100g (3-1/2 oz) fresh wild mushrooms, stalks trimmed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 150ml (1/4 pint) vegan red wine
- 4 tablespoons tomato passata rustica
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- sea salt, black pepper
- 500g (1lb 2oz) cooked Puy or green lentils
- 1 teaspoon vegan red wine vinegar
For the top
- 800g (1lb 12oz) celeriac, peeled and cut into large chunks
- approx. 75g (2-3/4 oz) sliced spring onions
- 150g (5-1/2 oz) small cherry tomatoes, halved
- Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions, peppers and celery for 7–8 minutes until softened and lightly coloured, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, whizz all the mushrooms in a food processor, in two batches, to finely chop them – take care to stop short of reducing them to a purée. Transfer the fried veg to a bowl, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the chopped mushrooms for a few minutes until they darken and throw out their juices. Return the fried veg to the pan, add the herbs, wine, passata, Worcestershire sauce and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes until you have a thick sauce, but with a little remaining liquid. Stir in the lentils and vinegar, and adjust the seasoning.
- Transfer the mushroom and lentil mixture to a large (approx. 25 x 37cm/10 x 14-1/2in) shallow ovenproof dish, which will allow plenty of crispy golden top, discarding the herbs. The pie base can be prepared well in advance, in which case leave to cool before covering and chilling.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C fan, 210 degrees C (410 degrees F), gas mark 6-1/2 and coarsely grate the celeriac using the attachment on a food processor. Transfer the grated celeriac to a large bowl, drizzle over 3 tablespoons of oil, season and toss to coat it. Scatter this evenly over the pie base and gently press down to level it. Toss the spring onions and cherry tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of oil and scatter over the surface. Bake the pie for 40–45 minutes until golden and crispy.
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Cover courtesy of Kyle Books
Excerpted with permission from Plant Power by Annie Bell (Kyle Books, 2020).