French vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with lentils

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This recipe is inspired from the French version of the British “Shepherd’s pie”, which is called Hachis Parmentier (as Parmentier made French people eat potatoes, in a nutshell). Usually, it is made with one layer of mash potato and one layer of ground beef.

Here I propose a meat-less version. I replace the ground beef with lentils, mushrooms, carrots and soy proteins (optional).

Easy to prepare and healthy, it’s a nice comforting meal for cold winter days!

French vegetarian Shepherd’s pie with lentils

Servings 4
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 950 g potatoes suitable for making mash
  • 200 g beluga lentils or otherwise French green lentils
  • 2 carrots
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 60 g textured soy proteins optional
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 vegetable broth cube
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 rosemary sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cl red wine
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil or butter

Instructions

  • Rince the carrots, cut them into sticks and then finely chop the sticks into small cubes.
  • Fry the carrots in a frying pan with a high rim (or in a large pot otherwise) in a drizzle of olive oil, stir for 1 to 2 minutes and then cook over medium heat with a lid.
  • Finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Add the onion and garlic to the carrots. Cook for another 5 minutes, still with the lid on, stirring occasionally.
  • Clean the mushrooms and slice them.
  • Add the mushrooms to the pan and fry for 2 additional minutes.
  • Heat 1 liter of water.
  • Rinse the lentils in a fine strainer with cold water and incorporate them in the pan. Pour hot (but not boiling) water over the lentils to cover them.
  • Add the vegetable stock cube and bay leaves, and cook for about 25-30 minutes over medium heat with a lid on. Stir from time to time and check if more water is needed.
  • In the meantime, wash and peel the potatoes.
  • Cut the potatoes into pieces and steam or boil them until they are just cooked. They need to remain a little firm.
  • In a bowl, pour the soy protein and cover with boiling water. Let the soybeans swell for 15 minutes. If you don’t have any, you can skip this step.
  • Once the lentils are cooked, remove any excess water with a strainer.
  • Add the soy protein, tomato purée and soy sauce to the preparation and heat for 2 minutes.
  • Then add the wine, thyme and rosemary and simmer for a good 5 minutes over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • While the preparation is simmering, mash the potatoes with a potato masher or fork and then make a coarse mashed potato. Add a little oil or butter and if you wish a little milk (cow’s milk or oats). Do not make it too runny.
  • Once you have the right consistency for the mash, season with grated nutmeg, paprika, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • In a gratin dish with fairly high edges (I use a 18 x 25 cm and 6 cm high dish), place the lentil mixture at the bottom of the dish.
  • Then, using a spatula, spread the mash to make a second layer.
  • With a fork, make vertical streaks on your mash (or other pattern…).
  • Sprinkle generously with breadcrumbs, place small knobs of butter or pour a little oil on the breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes at 200°C.
  • Enjoy hot!

Notes

You can add carrots or sweet potatoes to the puree, for example.
For more delicacy, replace the breadcrumbs by a flour/nut/parmesan crumble, or simply grated cheese!
 
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Lentils, Potato

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