Shepherding those pesky lentils into a line – er, I mean pie.

music to read by :: Shepherd (Genesis)

One of our favourite cold weather foods, here at casa vassal, is my veggie shepherd’s pie. Why? Because it is limitless in it’s versatility, and can be customized for a variety of dietary needs.

Except for meat eaters, of course. Then it just becomes regular ol’ shepherd’s pie. And that’s not what it’s all about today.

I’m pretty sure I started out, eons ago, with a recipe. Something tells me it might have been from a magazine, but I’m not sure anymore. I work this shepherd’s pie like most my meals, doing a little something I like to call “cooking”; using what I have on hand, and flavouring to taste.

So go, now! and grab yourself some brown lentils. Do they *have* to be brown? No. Go wild! Use the green ones! Mix them up, if you’re feeling crazy!

But Seriously ….

Start with some onions and chop those puppies up. Toss them into a pot with some butter or oil and start frying. Add some mushrooms. Add some peppers, and seasonings; I’ve used thyme and parsley here. Add some chopped garlic, onion greens and garlic greens if you have them. Once the onions have soften a bit, add 1 cup of lentils and give them a swish. Then 4 cups broth. I always use onion. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 20 minutes. Then add your standard veggies, like sliced carrots, and zucchini and simmer for another 20 minutes.  Over the last 20 minutes, toss in some other veggies that don’t need as much cooking time, like say beans! Or peas! Taste on occasion and adjust your seasonings if necessary.

Start boiling your potatoes. How many? How big is the baking pan you plan on using?

Prepare your roux. I always use a couple of tbsp cold water to a few tbsp of corn starch. Once the 20 minutes are up, add some of the hot liquid (1/4 cup?) to your roux base and stir. Then stir your roux back into your pot. Science! Gravy!

Once your gravy has thickened to your liking, transfer your pie filling to a baking pan.

Mash your potatoes, with butter, milk, and garlic. Top your filling. Grate some cheese on top, and bake until potatoes and cheese topping are browned.

Serve. Eat! Enjoy! As you see, it can been infinitely switched up to accommodate different diets, tastes, and pickiness, so go ahead, play. Cook!


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