Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie
Lentils are a good source of protein and iron for vegetarians and green lentils make a savoury and satisfying base for this shepherd’s pie.
1 tbsp olive oil
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and carrot for 8-10 minutes stirring occasionally until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute then stir in the lentils, tomatoes, stock, water, tomato puree, soy sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes, until the lentils are soft (older lentils will take a little longer). Add a little extra water if the pan gets too dry.
Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water for around 15 minutes, until just tender. Drain the potatoes then mash well. Beat in the butter and milk and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Season the lentils to taste with pepper then divide them between small baking dishes or ramekins. I used 6 ramekin dishes 9cm diameter and 4 cm depth. Spread the mashed potato over the lentils and mark in ridges with a fork. Refrigerate until needed.
Preheat the oven to 200c/400G/Gas 6/ Fan 180c. Put the pies on a baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the potato is golden on top and the pie is piping hot. Cool slightly and check temperature before serving.
Pies can be wrapped in clingfilm and frozen. Defrost overnight in fridge.