Not the most visually-appealing dish, Shepherd’s Pie is all about comfort food. This version uses pearl barley and lentils — my favorite legume, full of protein and iron! This is my favorite meal to make for meat eaters because they are familiar with both vegetable stew and mashed potatoes — no scary or strange “vegetarian ingredients” (just don’t mention the Marmite!) Also, it’s easy to split this up just before baking and toss a non-vegetarian ingredient in half, if necessary to keep the peace.
Although this meal is heavy on the pot-and-pan usage, it’s not technically difficult, requiring only a little chopping, measuring, and stirring. If you can make soup, you can make shepherd’s pie! The basic premise is a stew (usually made with a non-vegetarian ingredient) topped with mashed potatoes, and baked in the oven until the potatoes brown slightly on top. Easy, if messy — but who doesn’t like mashed potatoes??
Ready for the mashed potato layer (steaming up the camera lens!)
1 tsp Marmite
1/2 cup dry lentils
1/4 cup barley
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 large baking potatoes, chopped
2 Tb Earth Balance
1/4 c soy or almond milk
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine 1 cup broth, Marmite, lentils, and barley. Simmer, covered for 30 minutes or until tender.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup broth, carrot, onion, and walnuts. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Add white pepper.
Boil potatoes until tender; drain and mash with Earth Balance and soy milk.
Combine carrot mixture and lentil mixture and pour into a 2 quart casserole dish; top with mashed potatoes and baked until lightly browned on top, about 20-30 minutes.