Shepherd’s Austerity Pie

Ever since I bought some garden furniture, it’s rained every day! Under slate grey Victorian sky (thanks Morrissey) I’m looking for comfort food. Shepherd’s pie seems to fit the bill.

It’s very easy – just chop everything (onion, courgette, pepper, carrot and mushrooms…. whatever you fancy) and soften in a big pan in a little olive oil with some crushed garlic. Then add some soya mince, TVP or brown (continental) lentils. Add a can of tomatoes, a splosh of red wine (if you have a bottle open) and some herbs – I like to used oregano and fresh mint.

While this is gently cooking make your mash. I had half a sweet potato, a large parsnip and two big old spuds that were a bit tired. I peeled, chopped and boiled all these with a sprinkle of iodised salt (good for the thyroid!). When the root veg are soft, mash with a blob of vegan marg and add freshly ground pepper.

Spoon the filling into a deep ovenproof dish and gently cover with spoonfuls of mash. Use a fork to ‘rough up’ the top a bit so it goes nice and crispy. Bake in a medium oven until the top is beginning to brown. Serve with shredded cabbage –I’ve been cutting my cabbage in this style for years but just discovered there is a name for it – chiffonade!

If anyone is reading this I hope they are learning some stuff along the way even if it’s just a fancy word for shredding cabbage or lettuce!

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