Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup leek, white and light green only, diced small
4 cups button or cremini mushrooms (I used 2 cups of each)
½ cup carrots, diced small
½ cup corn, cut off the cobb (1-2 ears, depending on the size)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup red wine
¾-1 cup vegetable stock
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups cooked lentils
½ cup green peas (if using fresh, blanch them in salted water for 2 minutes first, then shock th em in ice water)
½ cup green beans, blanched cut in little rounds
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs thyme, tied together with butcher twine
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and mushrooms; cook until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add the carrots and corn, season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, until the carrots begin to soften. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minute, until it darkens a little. Add the flour and stir to coat the ingredients. Add the red wine, allow to reduce down. Add the vegetable stock. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the mixture has thickened. If the mixture seems too dry, add a little more vegetable stock. Taste for seasoning. Transfer mixture to a baking dish. Top with cheddar mashed potatoes (recipe below). Broil in the oven until the potatoes are golden brown on top, about 15-20 minutes. .
Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
2½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
¼ cup Half & Half
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup white cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Roast the potatoes in a 400˚F oven until soft about 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool enough to handle. Press the potatoes through a food mill, discarding the skin.
Meanwhile, heat the Half & Half and butter in a medium pot. Add the riced potatoes and stir to combine. Add in the cheddar cheese and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Taste for seasoning. Transfer the potatoes to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip in order to pipe onto the Shepard’s Pie.