I mentioned earlier that we have just returned from a family holiday, twenty-five or so of us and two dogs, and after bangers and mash on the first night, each family cooked until the last night when we ate left-overs.
I cooked a massive shepherd’s pie, minced beef with carrots, onions, celery, and a mashed potato topping, sprinkled with cheese, and for vegetarians, a similar concoction without the beef. This is what I did:(no quantities, it depends on how many you’re feeding, how hungry they are, and what your preferences are!
Market gardener’s pie
- red onions
- red lentils (or any other you like)
- apple, red pepper
- vegetable stock
- herbs of your choice
- chopped red onion, leeks, peppers of various colours, celery, aubergine (if liked) ditto mushrooms, and any veg which takes your fancy
- grated cheese (optional)
- chop all the vegetables to your preferred size – I like finely chopped onions, and everything else in small dice
- fry the onions, celery and pepper in your preferred oil until very soft
- add the swede and apple and a little stock
- when the swede and apple are slightly softened, add the beetroot (i like a crunchy texture but add it earlier if you like it soft)
- add the rest of the stock and seasoning (I added some mixed spice as well as pepper and salt) and stir in the lentils
- if cooking in advance let it simmer until the vegetables are to your liking then allow to cool and keep until needed
- on re-heating, or before adding topping, add the chopped herbs
- pour into a pie-dish, if it is a little liquid, strain some of the ‘juice’ and serve as ‘gravy’ (thickened if you like!)
- oven-roast the topping vegetables in olive or other oil (I know it sounds silly to say oven-roast, for how else would you roast anything, but it’s what recipes say these days!)
- scatter the roasted veg over the ‘pie’, give a good few grinds of black pepper, sprinkle on cheese and heat through in the oven
Nice with crusty bread!