This easy-to-make pie is the perfect treat for a cold winter's night. Whether you're flexitarian, fully plant-based or looking to up your veggie consumption this Veganuary, the Shepherdless Pie is a brilliant opportunity to impress your friends and family, and tantalise their tastebuds.

Prep time: 50 minutes

Serves: Six people

Photo Credit: The Happy Pear's best-selling cookbook Recipes for Happiness
Photo Credit: The Happy Pear's best-selling cookbook Recipes for Happiness

Ingredients

For the lentil mixture

  • 2 red onions
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a medium carrot
  • 1/2 a medium parsnip
  • 100g fine green beans
  • 2 x 400g tins of cooked lentils
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce
  • A few sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the mashed potato topping

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100ml non-dairy milk
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, and finely slice the carrot and parsnip. Cut the fine beans into bite-size pieces. Drain the lentils and rinse thoroughly. Put the oil into a large pan on a high heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the carrot and parsnip together with the salt, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly.
  2. Add the drained lentils to the pan, along with the chopped tomatoes, black pepper, smoked paprika, bay leaves, maple syrup and tamari. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and add the fine beans and parsley (roughly chopped) for some colour. Leave to simmer, checking from time to time that the mixture is not sticking to the pan. Continue to simmer while the potatoes cook, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the pan.
  3. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.
  4. While the filling is simmering, chop the potatoes evenly into small bite-size pieces and put them into a medium pot. Cover with boiling water, bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain the potatoes, return them to the pot and mash with a potato masher, adding the oil and nondairy milk a little at a time until your mash reaches the right texture (smooth but not sloppy). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Tip the lentil mixture into a lasagne-type casserole dish and top with the mashed potato (aim for approximately half lentil and half potato). Bake in the preheated oven for 20–30 minutes, until the top of the potato is turning golden and starting to crisp. Remove from the oven and serve.

The Happy Pear's best-selling cookbook Recipes for Happiness is available now!