Cottage/ Shepherds Pie was a classic British working mans dish back in the early seventeen hundreds when Irish potatoes were first accepted as a mainstream ingredient in England. The name “Cottage Pie” came about because people lived in small clusters of cottages and didn’t have much money; they invented this dish which used up leftover cuts of meat in a sauce bulked up with vegetables and topped with potato, which once mashed will go a long way.
These days the traditional principles of the dish still stand, it is a great way to use up leftover vegetables, it is cheap to make and it will last you a long time (or if you are a big family it will feed everyone from one dish!). I have previously made a lentil and chickpea cottage pie which was really delicious but for this version I wanted it to fit closer to the original recipe (but vegan obviously).
Mushrooms are a great ingredient when you want something to be a bit “meaty” and rich, by adding dried mushrooms to the stock and then adding fresh mushrooms you get a real depth to the filling. I also added carrots, onions, leeks and celery which stick quite closely to the original recipe but this dish is extremely versatile and you can add all sorts including parsnips, spinach, peas and sweetcorn.
For my topping I decided to add some parsnip in with the mash to make it a bit more interesting and because the sweetness of parsnips goes perfectly with the savoury filling. You can mix this up depending on what you have to hand, in the past I have used sweet potatoes, swede, turnips and even cauliflower mixed in with potatoes.
As you can see this is a dish which can be perfectly adapted for fussy tastebuds, veg averse kids and budgets of all kinds, no wonder it is such a British Classic!
To Serve 6
Gluten Free, Vegan, Low Fat, Budget Friendly!
14 Dried Mushrooms (I used portobello)
1 gluten free Vegetable Stock Cube
2 Large Carrots
2 Celery Sticks
1 Red Onion
1 Garlic Clove
Drizzle Olive Oil
250g Chestnut Mushrooms
Salt and Pepper
2 tblspns Rice Flour
2-3 tblspn Tomato Purée
1 Can Cooked Green or Puy Lentils
Small knob Vegan Butter
1 tblspn Vegan Milk (I used almond milk)
Put the dried mushrooms and stock cube into a bowl and pour over the boiling water. Put to one side.
Finely chop the carrots, celery, onion and leek and crush the garlic. In a large deep frying pan heat a little olive oil and gently cook the chopped vegetables and garlic until softened and lightly browned. Approx 15 minutes.
Roughly chop the mushrooms and add to the pan with plenty of seasoning and cook for a further 5-6 minutes whilst stirring to combine everything and cook it evenly.
Add the flour and tomato purée next and again give it a good stir to fully coat the vegetables with the sticky flour. This will thicken the sauce but also give everything a great texture.
Add the canned lentils and soaked mushrooms (chopped) to the pan and strain in the mushroom stock.
Cover with a lid or tinfoil and cook on a low heat for 15 – 20 minutes giving it the occasional stir to stop it sticking to the pan.
While this is simmering away boil some potatoes and parsnips and once super soft, drain them, add the butter and milk and mash them! Add some seasoning!
Tip the filling into a baking dish and top with mashed potatoes. Put in an oven at 200c for 15 minutes until golden brown on top and the filling is bubbling away.
This is perfect served with peas, cabbage, spring greens, spinach or broccoli (or a combination of all, yum!)
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I just want to let you know we made this the night before last! I LOVE it, and it’s a keeper. Everyone in the family ate it. The mushrooms in it were wonderful, and everything cooked up just right. Thank you for the recipe.
Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know!! This is one of my favourite cottage pie recipes so its great to hear that you and your family enjoyed it too 🙂
This is the bomb! Perfect for your approaching wintery season and still perfect for our early spring. Can’t wait to make this one and I reckon Steve will want some to. I love the different veg in the mash, very creative way to get kids to eat it as well 😉
Making a mash of both potatoes & parsnips is genius! Definitely going to try that out on my next shepherd’s pie.
I love adding different veg into my potato mash! You can get some really different flavours all in the same creamy texture 🙂
That looks gorgeous! I love it, in fact I want to tuck in right now.
you make me appreciate my British food! Perfect for September and rain, which are both occurring tomorrow in Blighty!
noo not rain! This is definitely a dish to serve up when its howling and pouring down outside 🙂 doing this challenge already has made me feel quite good about our food!
Before my wife and I went vegetarian, Shepherd’s Pie made with ground turkey was a staple dinner. We shall have to try this version. Thanks for posting. Also, love your blog’s new look!
Turkey is an interesting twist! Hope you enjoy my vegan version, hopefully you’ll find it still as ‘meaty’ and comforting as the old one 🙂
I love this kind of dish. So homey and so flavorful.
Me too, I am definitely drawn towards good old fashioned comforting one pots when I am meal planning 🙂