Shepherd's Pie

When I think of dishes from the UK, the words “bright” and “fresh” don’t usually come to mind (no hate). Jamie Oliver has proved me wrong. This shepherd’s pie was straight up scrumptious. How have I never mashed regular and sweet potatoes together before? If you are looking for a warm, savory yet bright and flavorful comfort food meal, you’ve found it! Yes, I really needed ALL of those adjectives to describe this.

I’m sorry that I doubted you, English food. You are damn good.

SHEPHERD'S PIE

1 ¼ lb Russet potatoes, cut into ¾ inch cubes
1 ¼ lb sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
3 tbsp vegan butter (my go-to is Earth Balance)
1 onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 carrots,  thinly sliced into half moons
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1 tbsp coriander
Olive oil
½ a bunch of fresh thyme
1 lb cremini mushrooms
12 sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ - ⅓ cup red wine (depending how you like it)
½ cup veggie broth
1 ½ cup cooked lentils
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas
5 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Zest of one lemon
3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs (can use gluten-free)

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the russet potatoes into a large pot of cold salted water over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender, adding the sweet potatoes after 5 minutes. You may need to let cook a bit longer, so just continue to check for the potatoes for tenderness.
  3. Drain and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan with the vegan butter and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Mash until smooth, then set aside.
  4. Add 2 tbsp of oil to a medium heat skillet with the onion, carrot, celery, 2 cloves of the garlic and the coriander. Pick in the thyme leaves, then cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened.
  5. Meanwhile, roughly chop the mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and add to the pan along with the vinegar and 2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oil from the jar.
  6. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, add the wine (take a swig, why don't ya), turn up the heat, and allow it to come to a simmer. Stir in the broth, lentils and chickpeas (juice and all), then leave it continue simmering 5 to 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened and reduced.
  7. Remove the stems and roughly chop the parsley leaves, then stir into the pan. Season to taste, then transfer to a 9x13 inch baking dish (I actually split this between two smaller baking dishes).
  8. Spread the mashed potato over the top, smoothing it with the back of a spoon.
  9. Add the remaining minced garlic clove to a bowl with the rosemary leaves, lemon zest, breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp of oil. Mix well, sprinkle over the mash, then place in the hot oven for around 10 minutes, or until piping hot throughout.
  10. Place under the broiler for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.
  11. Let cool 5-10 minutes before serving, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver.