Thursday, 17 March 2011

An old fashion veggie Shepherds pie

The last few days we have seen rain falling horizontally; and snowflakes the size of large daisies, melting as soon as they hit the ground.
So a deep hearty veggie pie to make you feel all warm and cosy was welcoming. I have to point out though, this veggie pie hardly contains any vegetables. You see the textual base of this pie is made from beans and lentils. The reason for this is simple. I have been making a concerted effort to use up dry ingredients in my store cupboard, of which there are plenty of the legume family: black eyed beans, yellow split peas, and green and brown lentils to name a few.
I've made 'Shepherds pie' also known as Shepherdess pie many times before, but the adventurous and experimental cook in me likes to indulge in other variations of the recipe. This particular one is an adaptation of Delia's Vegetarian Shepherds Pie. It was served with lashings of gravy.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie
Serves 4 generously
110 g dried black-eyed beans, pre-soaked and drained
75 g yellow split peas, no need to soak
100g green or brown lentils, no need to soak
4 carrots, grated
1 large onion, mined
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the topping
700 g potatoes, peeled and chopped
50 g butter
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon parsley, minced
100g cheddar cheese, grated
Wash and drain the beans into a saucepan with the split peas and lentils.
Add 1¼ pints (725 ml) boiling water and some salt, cover and simmer gently for 50-60 minutes, or until all the pulses are soft. Drain and mash them a little.
Next, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring now and again until softened Then stir in the grated carrots along with the herbs, spices and salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste. Then combine the vegetable mixture with the mashed bean and spoon the into the baking dish. Pressing gently.
As soon as the potatoes are cooked, mash them well with the butter, cayenne and seasoning. Then gently fold in the parsley and cheese. Spread the potato over the rest of the ingredients in the dish.
Finally, drizzle over a little olive oil and bake the pie on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Adapted from Delia Smiths Vegetarian Collection.


  1. I love the way you've finished the top off. I sort of do squares of straight lines on mine but this is wonderful!

  2. Thank you AJ.
    I just used a forked. I'll have a go with your style next time.

  3. I love shepherd's pie (with meat!) but might even give this version a try if it tastes as good as it looks ;)

  4. Thank you Jane.
    It was okay, I found it a little dry, hence the gravy.

  5. Have you not thought of adding some of the gravy before putting a potato top on? I'm going to try this, it looks good. Will be back to check out more of your recipes. What a great blog. Karen

  6. Ahaa - I finally know what to name this dish I made a couple of days ago - I used some Chinese spices so was going to go with chinese Pizza - But I think I like this much better - thanks for the idea and the the wonderful recipe you've shared!

  7. OO, it sounds delicious. And with the lashings of gravy, I imagine it was irresistible!

  8. Thank you so much Karen.
    I've made Vegetarian Sherpherds pie recipes before and the base is always a lot more moist. The recipe for this one was different.

    Thanks Now Serving.
    Chinese pizza sound interesting too. I'll be over later in the week to check out your recipe.

    Thank you Indie.Tea.

  9. Veggie shepherds pie is one of my most favourite winter meals. It's so filling and comforting, I always have it with cabbage and loads of gravy!x

  10. Zoe,
    Your right to point out cabbage as an accompaniment. A little green was missing from the plate.

  11. I tried this last Sunday and it was great, tasty, warming and easy to do. Thank you so much, I've become a regular to your blog now! Keep posting, Skye x


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