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
- 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
- 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
- olive oil or butter
- 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!