Food / 22.02.2021

Vegan shepherd’s pie

By Niamh Leonard-Bedwell
Gaz Oakley's tasty, plant-based take on a family favourite
Photograph: Merchant Gourmet

Running out of recipe inspo for meat-free Mondays? Try Gaz Oakley’s vegan take on shepherd’s pie. Working together with Merchant Gourmet, the chef and cookery author is on a mission to prove that plant-based versions of your family favourites can be just as comforting. As lentils are made up of over 25% protein – as well as providing B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium – they make a great alternative for meat in the filling. And swapping traditional lamb mince for Merchant Gourmet’s lentil and grain pouches will help you reach your daily fibre goals, too.

For the filling:
1 tbsp olive oil
6 dried porcini mushrooms (we used Merchant Gourmet) soaked in 250ml boiling water
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 sticks celery, chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 pack Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils
1 pack Merchant Gourmet Glorious Grains
240ml vegan red wine
240ml vegetable stock

For the topping:
4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into quarters
4 tbsp vegan butter
120ml non-dairy milk
1 tbsp olive oil

1 Preheat your oven to 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 6.

2 Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and add a little oil. When hot, add the onion, carrots, garlic and celery. Sauté the mixture for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

3 Reserving the water you soaked them in, finely chop the re-hydrated mushrooms then add them to the pan with the tomato puree, herbs, lentils and Glorious Grains.

4 Keep stirring the mixture for 2-3 minutes more before adding the mushroom water, red wine and stock. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.

5 Meanwhile, make your mashed potato topping. Add your potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover over with water. Place the pan over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook the potatoes for around 10-12 minutes, or until they are soft enough to mash.

6 Transfer the potatoes to a colander, draining away the water. Let the potatoes dry for 2-3 minutes, then pass them through a potato ricer to mash them. If you don’t have a potato ricer, a standard masher will do the trick.

7 Once you’ve mashed the potato, mix in the milk, vegan butter and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set the mash aside until you’re ready to top your pie.

8 When the filling mix is rich and the liquid has slightly thickened, transfer into a large baking dish and top with the mash.

9 Place your shepherd’s pie into the oven to bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the mash on top is slightly crisp and golden around the edges. Serve right away.

Vegan shepherd’s pie recipe courtesy of Merchant Gourmet, working together with Gaz Oakley.

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