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Shepherdess Pie

by Becky Sumpster for
A hearty, warming casserole that can be made in advance and cooked later. Ideal to return to after a wintery walk.
Preparation time - 20 mins
cooking time - 1 hour


2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 med red onions

1 or 2 cloves of garlic, depending on taste

200g carrots, scrubbed or peeled

5 sticks of celery

I small sprig of fresh rosemary

200g tempeh

200g mushrooms, thickly chopped

2 x 400g tins tomato pulped or chopped tomatoes

100g green or puy lentils

30g sundried tomatoes, chopped finely

400ml good vegetable stock

4 Tsp good tamari or soy sauce


Peel and chop the potatoes into regular sized pieces, and put to steam  over a pan of boiling water.  These will take about 20 minutes.  In the meantime….

Peel and chop the onions, and slice or chop the peeled garlic clove(s.) In a heavy bottomed saucepan or fryingpan , heat the oil and saute the onions and garlic very gently over a low heat until soft.

In the meantime…

Taking the casserole dish you are going to use (make sure it will be big enough to accommodate the mash as well) ,

Chop the carrots and celery stalks and put them into the dish.  Slicing at about a pound coin thickness will mean soft vegetables, thicker and they will still be cooked but retain some bite, you choose.  Put these in the bottom of the dish. 

Chop the mushrooms into fairly large pieces and add to the casserole dish

Chop the tempeh into cubes, roughly the size of the other vegetable ingredients, and add to the casserole dish

Chop the rosemary as finely as you can, discarding any thick stalks, and sprinkle into the casserole dish.

Add the lentils

Add two tins of tomato pulp

Chop the sundried tomatoes finely and add to the casserole dish

Mix all the ingredients around in the casserole dish, so that they are evenly distributed.

Pour over the vegetable stock to which the tamari or soy sauce has been added, and stir to incorporate it thoroughly with the tomato pulp.

Taking the steamed potatoes, mash thoroughly, or process through a ricer.  If you want a smoother, creamier, mash, add a little olive oil, and t his will also help the potatoes to brown on the top.

Once smooth,  places spoonfuls on top of the casserole ingredients, ensuring complete and even coverage.  Make nice patterns in it with a fork!

Cook at  225/ 200c in a fan oven or gas mark 7 for one hour.