Mini lentil shepherd’s pies
- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 4 - 6
- 2 tbsp butter or olive oil, plus extra for the pie dishes
- 1 large red onion , chopped
- 2 carrots , finely diced, about 200g
- 4 celery stalks , chopped
- 4 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 150g chestnut mushrooms , chopped (blitz these to fairly tiny pieces for small kids)
- 2 tsp thyme leaves (optional)
- 250g puy lentils
- 100ml red wine (optional)
- 900ml vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp yeast extract (optional)
- peas , to serve (optional)
For the mashed potato topping
- 850g Maris Piper potatoes , peeled and cut into chunks
- 75g butter
- 100ml milk (or alternative)
- STEP 1
To make the filling, heat the butter or oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 15 mins until soft and golden. Turn up the heat, add the mushrooms, then cook for 3-4 mins. Sprinkle in the thyme and add the lentils. Pour over the wine and stock, then simmer gently, uncovered, for about 40-45 mins until the lentils are soft. If you find the mixture is drying out, you can add a splash more stock or water.
- STEP 2
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large pan, pour over boiling water and boil for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain well. You can use a potato ricer at this stage to make them super creamy, or mash with the butter and milk, then season with salt and pepper.
- STEP 3
Remove the lentils from the heat, add the tomato purée and yeast extract, if using. Stir well and check to see if you need seasoning, then add a good grinding of black pepper.
- STEP 4
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. To assemble, butter four-six small pie dishes or one a large dish and spoon in the lentil mixture, then top with mash. It’s fun to pipe on the mash if you have a piping bag, but if not, you can spoon it on and fluff into peaks with a fork. Bake for 30-40 mins until golden. Serve with peas on the side, if you like.