SPICY VEGETARIAN SHEPHARD’S PIE

With lentils and cremini mushrooms as well as the traditional carrots and peas, this vegetarian take on the traditional British potato-topped Shepherd’s pie is satisfying and delicious. We use French green lentils because they hold their shape in cooking. Add a touch of freshness and heat with the Sinai Gourmet hot sauce of your choosing, Poblano Original/Maple, Jalapeno Original/Maple or for that extra kick Habanero Original/Maple.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, such as Annie’s Naturals
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cup French green lentils, picked over
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons of Sinai Gourmet Poblano, Jalapeno or Habanero hot sauce
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
  • 1 can of cream corn (398 mL)
  • 1 cup grated vegan cheese (optional)

STEPS

  • Heat oil in a medium pot over medium. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook, stirring, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  • Add Worcestershire, bay leaf, 4 cups water, and lentils; season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Stir in peas; 2 Tablepoons of your favorite Sinai Gourmet Poblano, Jalapeno or Habanero Hot sauce, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place potatoes and garlic in a medium saucepan; cover with 2 inches of cold water. Season generously with salt; bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until a knife pierces potatoes easily, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Drain; return potatoes and garlic to pot. Add butter and milk; mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer lentil mixture to a 2-quart baking dish and press down slightly until makes even layer in dish. Cover with cream corn evenly. Now cover with mashed potatoes; spread evenly to edges. Spread cheese evenly along the top (optional).
  • Transfer to a baking sheet; bake until golden and bubbling around edges, about 15 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes; serve.

COOK’S NOTE: Shepherd’s pie pairs well with ketchup and/or pickled beats. Serve with a fresh green salad and warm crusty bread to sop up the deliciousness!