Adapted from Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie from Bon Appetit Magazine.
A Shepherd’s pie, baking in your oven on a cold day, is the ultimate in comfort food. Although this recipe for a vegetarian Shepherd’s pie uses ground mushrooms instead of ground meat, thanks to the meatiness of the mushrooms, the warmth of the fall vegetables, and the comfort of the piping hot mashed topping, it will be a crowd-pleaser for herbivores and carnivores alike. The meaty flavors of mushroom and lentils will be harmoniously accompanied the Pinot Noir from McCall Vineyards. They are closed until March but we are pouring it at Cuvee at The Greenporter Hotel.
The option of a lower-calorie mashed cauliflower topping is waistline friendly and just as delicious.
For a creamy topping for this shepherd’s pie, you can use a lower calorie option of mashed cauliflower , or a traditional mashed potato option.
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, ground in coffee mill to create a powder
¾ cup brown or French green lentils
2 garlic cloves, divided, plus 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
2 cups dry white wine
8 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons gluten-free white miso or 2 tsp. gluten-free tamari soy sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups ½-inch pieces peeled fall vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips)
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed, halved
2 4-inch sprigs rosemary
2 cups mixed fresh mushrooms, coarsely pulsed in a food processor (takes one at like texture)
¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, and sage)
Choose your topping, making fresh or using leftover mashed vegetables.
Combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–20 minutes. Drain lentils and discard garlic.
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add chopped garlic and fresh pulsed mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes.
Add bay leaves and wine; stir, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in porcini, slowly pouring 1 cup of garden stock into pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
Strain mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a boil; discard solids in strainer. Stir cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl to dissolve. Add cornstarch mixture; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in miso. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss vegetables and pearl onions with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, stirring once, until tender, 20–25 minutes. Discard rosemary.
Arrange lentils in an even layer in a 3-qt. baking dish; set dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Toss roasted vegetables with mushrooms mixture and chopped herbs; layer on top of lentils. Pour sauce over vegetables. Spoon potato mixture evenly over.
Bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.