Savory Shepherd’s Pie
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown or green lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 10-ounce bag frozen mixed veggies: peas, carrots, green beans, and corn
3 pounds yukon gold potatoes, thoroughly washed
3-4 Tbsp vegan butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice any large potatoes in half, place in a large pot and fill with water until they’re just covered. Bring to a low boil on medium high heat, then generously salt, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until they slide off a knife very easily.
Once cooked, drain, add back to the pot to evaporate any remaining water, then transfer to a mixing bowl. Use a masher, or large fork to mash until smooth. Add desired amount of vegan butter (2-4 Tbsp), and season with salt and pepper to taste. Loosely cover and set aside.
While potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish (or comparable sized dish, such as 9x13 pan. An 8x8 won’t fit it all but close!).
In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in 1 Tbsp oil until lightly browned - about 5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then add lentils, stock, and thyme and stir. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Continue cooking until lentils are tender (35-40 minutes). In the last 10 minutes of cooking, add the frozen veggies, stir, and cover to meld the flavors together.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Then transfer to your prepared oven-safe baking dish and carefully top with mashed potatoes. Smooth down with a spoon or fork and season with another crack of pepper and a little sea salt.
Place on a baking sheet to prevent spills and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the mashers are lightly browned on top.
Let cool briefly before serving, to allow it to thicken.