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The Heartiest Vegan Shepard's Pie 

INGREDIENTS:

For 4-6 servings

The Mash: 

  • 5 large yellow potatoes 

  • 2 tbsp olive oil 

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 

  • pepper and salt (personal preference) 

The "Meat" Mix:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, divided 

  • 250g portobello mushrooms 

  • 2 medium yellow onions 

  • 2 large carrots 

  • 1 cup frozen peas 

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 

  • 1 tsp smoked paprika 

  • 1 tbsp dried sage

  • 1 bay leaf (optional)

  • Use the garlic that is used for infusing the oil for the mash potato 

  • 2 cups vegetable broth 

  • 1 can cooked lentils, drained 

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree 

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce 

  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary, for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
 

For the mash: 

  1. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes into 2-inch chunks and place into a large pot and cover with 1-inch of cold water. Stir in 1/2 tbsp of salt and bring to a boil. 
     

  2. Once boiling, cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes (pierce a piece of the potato with a fork to assess softness). 
     

  3. Meanwhile, heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add the whole crushed garlic cloves and simmer for 5 minutes until fragrant. Remove the garlic and save for later. 
     

  4. Return the potatoes to the pot. Add the garlic infused oil, coconut oil, 1/2 tsp salt and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Mash until the potatoes are smooth and creamy. Set aside covered. 

"Meat" Mix:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (C) fan-force. 
     

  2. Prep the vegetables: dice mushrooms into size chunks, peel and slice the carrots into thing half-circles, cut the onions into slivers length-wise. 
     

  3. Make the filling: In a large pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent. Next add the mushrooms, carrots and 1/2 tsp salt and cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are becoming tender and browning. 
     

  4. Next stir in the flour, smoked paprika, smashed garlic from earlier, bay leaf and dried sage and cook for 1 minute.
     

  5. Now add the vegetable broth, peas, lentils (drained), soy sauce and tomato paste. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the broth is thickening and the frozen peas are heated through. 
     

  6. Baking time: Pour the filling into a 8x8 baking dish (or something similar). Spread the mixture evenly. Next top with the mashed potato and cover the whole dish until you can't see anymore of the "meat" mixture. You may need to reheat the mash potato before doing so to make the potatoes more workable and to create a smooth layer. I also used a fork to create textural lines on the surface. 
     

  7. Bake for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are slightly browned. Garnish with chopped rosemary and serve warm.