You won't miss the meat with this comforting vegan lentil shepherd's pie. The herby celeriac mash makes a great change from the usual potato topping.
Shepherd's pie is proper comfort food isn't it. A dish to cook and enjoy when the nights are drawing in and the air is chilly outside. A proper filling dinner to warm you up from the inside.
Vegan shepherd's pie is good all year round
However, shepherd's pie isn't just for winter. This vegan lentil shepherd's pie is light enough to enjoy all year round.
The very fact that it doesn't contain meat makes it less stodgy than a traditional shepherd's pie.
Celeriac mash is a lovely, lighter topping
The use of celeriac mash as a topping instead of potato also contributes to it being a lighter dinner.
Celeriac can be a gnarly old beast to peel but it has a lovely, light flavour. You'll find that a celeriac mash has a chunky texture - it's hard to get it as smooth as potato.
If you prefer you could mix it with potato mash for a more traditional taste.
Adding fresh herbs to mash
I love to add fresh herbs to mash. Here I've used lovage because that's what arrived in my vegetable bag. But parsley would work just as well, or perhaps fresh thyme.
Lovage is an unusual herb. I've used it again in this recipe for pasta with courgettes and lovage, which you'll find useful if you find yourself with a bag of lovage that you don't know what to do with.
What lovage recipes have you made before? If you have a favourite use for lovage share it in the comments below.
If you like this you might enjoy this vegan gooseberry crumble for dessert.
Or why not try this vegan shepherd's pie with swede mash next time?
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How to make vegan lentil shepherd's pie with herby celeriac mash
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Vegan lentil shepherd's pie with herby celeriac mash
For the celeriac mash
- 2 medium celeriac
- small handful fresh herbs eg lovage or parsley finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil or dairy free spread
For the shepherd's pie
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 1 stick celery diced
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 200 ml vegetable stock
- 800 g tinned brown or green lentils drained and rinsed
- 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- Salt and pepper
To make the celeriac mash
- Peel and dice your celeriac. If it's covered in mud you might find it useful to do this in the sink. Use a sharp knife to cut off any gnarly bits of skin that won't peel.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil, then add the celeriac and simmer until soft.
- Drain and mash with the herbs and olive oil or dairy free spread. Set aside.
To make the lentil shepherd's pie
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. You can use an ovenproof dish if you want to save on washing up.
- Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally for five minutes. Add the diced carrot and celery, reduce the heat to low and cover. Cook for a further ten minutes until starting soften.
- Add the garlic, the bay leaf, cumin and oregano and cook for a further minute.
- Add the vegetable stock, the lentils, the chopped tomatoes and the tomato purée. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan)/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Transfer the lentil mixture to an oven proof dish. Cover with the herby celeriac mash and smooth over with a fork.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until bubbling and the topping is turning golden brown.
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