Lenten shepherd’s pie with mushrooms, sweet potato and ajvar
December 4, 2018
This is one of those recipes that works every time, that we’re always happy to return to over and over again, and that we warmly recommend you try. The rich filling made of mushrooms, lentil, ajvar, and vegetables, with incredibly light mashed sweet potatoes, provides a myriad of exquisite flavours with every bite. Whether you make this pie for a holiday or Sunday lunch, every time we put them on the table, the room lightens up.
Sweet potatoes are wonderful and pretty rich type of food of mild flavour and is great in combination with pungent aromas of the vegetable filling in this dish. We also added a bit of regular, white potato to the sweet one, and with a little help of neutral home-made plant-based cream, we got transparent mashed potatoes of mild flavour, which wonderfully contrasts with the rich filling of this pie.
Leek and ajvar give the filing a special creamy texture, while the combination of ajvar, vegetables, and rosemary provide exquisite fragrant aromas for a bite that melts in your mouth.
Although it takes a lot of time to prepare this dish from the beginning to the end because of all the simmering, cooking, and baking, this shepherd’s pie is actually easy to make. And if you don’t have a lot of time, you can make the filling, potatoes, and cream in advance, and then just arrange everything and bake in the oven, so that everything is done in about twenty minutes.
This time, for a special occasion, we prepared it in small separate refractory moulds, while you can make it in a single large dish. Whichever choice you make, we’re sure you’ll enjoy in every warm bite.
- Prep: 25 mins
- Cook: 15 mins
- Yields: 8-10 people
For the filling:
400 g mushrooms
a few springs of fresh rosemary
4 medium-sized carrots
150 g peas
200 g pre-cooked brown lentils
2 tablespoons of ajvar
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
salt, pepper, olive oil
For the mashed potatoes.
2 sweet potatoes
4 new white potatoes for cooking
For the cream:
150 g cashew nuts soaked in water overnight
2 tablespoons of tahini
salt and pepper
Dice washed and peeled potatoes, add a pinch of salt to water and pour it over them, and then let them cook until soft.
Heat the oil in a wider pot and then add finely chopped rosemary leaves. Stir and fry for about a minute until the rosemary releases all its aromatic oils. Add finely chopped leek and let it stew for about one more minute. Then add mushrooms and lower the temperature and let it simmer until all water released by mushrooms evaporates.
Add chopped carrots, peas, mix in tomato paste and ajvar and pour a half a cup to one cup of water, cover the pot with a lid, and let everything simmer. Finally, mix in lentil and add salt and pepper to taste.
Set the oven to 200C and make cream by simply combining all ingredients in a blender. Strain the potatoes and mix them in with the cream.
Put the filling at the bottom of the baking dish and pour mashed potatoes over it. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ll know it’s done once brown spots appear on the top of mashed potatoes.