Lentil shepherds pie
It is helpful to have a meat-free option on hand for any vegetarian visitors, or if you simply fancy an alternative to the traditional meat dishes.
Lentils are packed with protein, and the generous quantity of vegetables (carrot, tomato and red pepper) ensure a hit of immune boosting beta-carotene (the vegetable form of vitamin A), vitamin C and antioxidant lycopene. This is a delicious, comforting dish which children adore...and any meat eaters won't feel hard done by either.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 40 minutes Serves: 6-8
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 parsnip, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
350ml fresh chicken stock, ideally homemade (or veg stock, if vegetarian)
200g puy lentils
1 x 400ml plum tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (choose vegetarian and gluten free, if needed)
500g mashed potato
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Sweat the onions until soft, then add the very finely chopped celery, carrot, parsnip, red pepper and continue cooking on a low heat for up to 10 minutes.
Next add the garlic and tomato puree. Then add the Worcestershire sauce, lentils and chicken stock.
Leave to cook with the lid on for 30 minutes until the lentils are cooked through and most of the liquid has been absorbed (taste to make sure the lentils are soft)
Pour into a casserole dish and cover with mashed potato.
Place in the oven and cook through for 20 minutes until the mash is golden and the pie is bubbling.