Shepherd’s pie is the ultimate comfort food; it’s the kind of dish Molly Weasley would serve at The Burrow. This vegan and gluten-free version is perfect for pot lucks and cold Edinburgh nights alike. The best part is that it is cheap, easy and you probably have half of the ingredients already.
Start by peeling and dicing 800g of potatoes. Place in a boiling pot of water and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender.
Whilst the potatoes are boiling sauté one onion in a pan with olive oil. Add 2 cloves of garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant. My favourite part of cooking is seasoning, you can get creative here or just stick to basic salt and paper. I tend to add salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and extra thyme to make sure the dish is full of flavour.
After this, drain and rinse one can of lentils and add them to the pan with 3 cups of frozen vegetables and 200g of sliced mushrooms. Stir until everything is combined and add 2 cups of vegetable stock and 3 teaspoons of gravy granules. Gravy seems to be a very personal preference, I don’t like it to overpower the dish but if you are a gravy fan maybe add a few extra teaspoons, just make sure you taste the dish along the way. Allow this to simmer for about 15 minutes.
By now your potatoes should be ready to mash. Try adding non-dairy milk or vegan butter along with salt and pepper to make the mash extra creamy. I always add dried parsley to mashed potatoes, which looks and tastes lovely.
Now we are ready to assemble the dish. Place the lentil filling into an ovenproof dish and smooth the potato on top. Cook for 10 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees to get the potatoes crisp.
Finally, you can remove the dish from the oven and serve with a side of kale for a perfectly balanced, nutritious meal. Remember to take a picture and send it to your parents to show how self-sufficient and healthy you are. They might even ask for the recipe.
[image: Shona Verity Elliott]