06 Apr 2020

The world has run out of mince shepherd’s pie ...and it really doesn’t matter ‘cause lentils are nicer

Recipe by Simon Bryant – dirt(y)
Serves four


  • 150g whole red lentils (skin on)
  • 700g of peeled potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100g mushrooms
  • 100ml cream
  • 100g butter
  • Handful of grated cheese
  • Handful of parsley
  • Olive oil
  • Bay leaf (optional)
  • Thyme (optional)
  • Puff pastry (optional)


Cook 150g whole red (i.e. skin on) lentils in five times their volume of cold water for approx. 30 mins or until al dente. Set aside.

Get 700-odd grams of peeled spuds simmering from cold or steaming to make a mash. Pre-heat oven to 220°C.

Fry off an onion, a couple of celery sticks, a carrot (all finely diced) and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, in three tbsp olive oil; if you are fancy throw in a bay leaf and a few stripped and chopped sprigs of thyme and rosemary...cooky cooky until all softened.

Add a tbsp tomato paste, a cup of diced tomato, one tbsp red wine vinegar and 100g any old mushies (chopped), then cook for five or so mins. Throw in lentils, sea salt and pepper to taste and simmer until hardly any liquid is left. Finish with a big handful of chopped parsley and throw the lot into an oven proof dish (or four little ones if you hate sharing). You can line the casserole dish with puff pastry if you want to be more “pie” and less “shepherd’s”…

Whip up the mash by draining cooked spuds and busting up with about 100 ml/g of each cream and butter and a big handful of grated cheese (or just a shedload of olive oil if you are vegan), salt and pepper.

Top the lentil mix with the mash and bake for 15 mins or until the topping is crusty and golden! Destroy it with some tomato sauce if you’re that way inclined. Eat.

Stay tuned for my “hoarders’ high fibre gluten free pasta bake”, using toilet paper as lasagne sheets because you are really going have to use that stuff up somehow people :)