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Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Celeriac and Butter Bean Mash

Though a meatless shepherd’s pie stretches the notion of ‘shepherd’s pie’ (does a lentil shepherd keep watch over his pulses by night?!?), this delightful variation also stretches the envelope with a novel topping, a delicious celery root and butter bean mash. Red lentils cook down completely to make a hearty filling that is wonderfully flavorful — you won’t miss the meat, we promise!

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie with Celeriac and Butter Bean Mash

4 oz. red lentils (½ cup plus 1 tbs.)
2 leeks, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2½ cups vegetable stock
5 fl. oz. red wine
3 heaped tbs. tomato paste
1 tbs. chopped fresh thyme

For the topping

28 oz. celeriac, peeled and cut into large dice
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
2 oz. light cream cheese (or Neufchâtel)

Boil the celeriac in salted water until tender when tested with the point of a knife, adding the beans for the final 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and roughly mash with the cream cheese and seasoning to taste until the cheese is well-mixed, but the veg is still a little chunky.

Meanwhile, tip the lentils into a pan with the leeks, celery, stock, red wine, tomato paste, and thyme. Bring to the boil, cover the pan, and reduce the heat to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft and pulpy. Towards the end of cooking, add a splash more water if the mixture is drying out.

Heat the oven to 400°F. Spoon the lentils into the base of 4 individual pie dishes, then top with the celeriac mash, smoothing it to the edge of the dishes. Bake for 35 minutes until bubbling and golden, then serve with a green veg such as broccoli, if you like.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. This looks absolutely glorious! I love using lentils, but had never thought to incorporate them into a classic dish like this. Thank you for sharing such a great recipe! 🙂

    November 17, 2014

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