Despite being farmers and raising livestock to eat, we don't always have meat for every meal, far from it. We believe that we should eat less meat but better quality, meat that is full of rich nutrients and vitamins. But we also understand not everyone chooses to eat meat so this recipe is for them and packed with lots of legume protein. An ode to a much loved British classic, Shepherd's Pie, this is our Gardener's Pie which is completely Vegan and Gluten Free.
Ingredients (serves 4-6)
400g of small button mushrooms
1 can of green or black lentils with juice
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large stick of celery, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp dried rosemary or finely chopped fresh
1 tsp dried thyme or finely chopped fresh
2 bay leaves
200ml of porcini stock (optional) - I had this in the fridge from a previous dish but if using also include the rehydrated mushrooms to given even more flavour
2 tsp cornflour dissolved in water
1 tbsp of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 can of white beans
2 medium potatoes
1 leek - finely sliced and fried in a little oil until soft (optional)
Gluten Free breadcrumbs
Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan to a medium/low heat and add the olive oil, onion, celery, carrot, dried herbs and garlic with a good pinch of salt and lots of black pepper. Fry until soft and brown which will take about 30mins. The more colour the more flavour - but not burnt of course!
Add in the mushrooms and fry until any residual moisture is cooked off and they start to brown and shrink in size - about 15 mins.
Add the lentils with their juice, marmite and the mushrooms stock to the pan and increase the heat so that it begins to bubble. Stir well until all combined and add more water if needed.
Bring to a low simmer (only just bubbling), place the lid on and leave it, for 30 mins so that all the flavours reduce and mellow. Make sure the filling doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and if looking a little dry add a touch of water.
Thicken the filling at the end with your cornflour mixture and pour into an oven baking dish, leaving an inch from the top edge.
Chill in the fridge so that it cools and hardens up, this will make adding the topping much easier. If making ahead of time, this can all be done the day before.
To make our pie topping, in a large saucepan add in the beans with their juice and the diced potatoes (peeled or unpeeled) as well as another bean tin full of water. Simmer with the lid on until the potatoes are cooked and the beans are creamy. Make sure you add enough water so that it doesn't burn the bottom of the pan but not too much as your mash will be watery.
Mash to a smooth, thick consistency and add in your leeks if using. Season to taste.
Top the pie dish with your filling and sprinkle over some breadcrumbs and a bit of olive oil.
Bake in the oven for 20 mins at 200C until golden on top and the filling is bubbling.
Enjoy with some greens, roasted butternut squash or any veg you like.