Market gardener’s pie

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
  • leeks
  • beetroot
  • celery
  • swede
  • red lentils (or any other you like)
  • apple, red pepper
  • vegetable stock
  • seasoning
  • 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)
  1. chop all the vegetables to your preferred size – I like finely chopped onions, and everything else in small dice
  2. fry the onions, celery and pepper in your preferred oil until very soft
  3. add the swede and apple and a little stock
  4. 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)
  5. add the rest of the stock and seasoning (I added some mixed spice as well as pepper and salt) and stir in the lentils
  6. if cooking in advance let it simmer until the vegetables are to your liking then allow to cool and keep until needed
  7. on re-heating, or before adding topping, add the chopped herbs
  8. pour into a pie-dish, if it is a little liquid, strain some of the ‘juice’ and serve as ‘gravy’ (thickened if you like!)
  9. 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!)
  10. 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!

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