Still got a house full, run out of leftovers and can't face grocery shopping? Yup, it's time for this Veggie Cottage Pie, which you can pimp to your hearts content. It's the ultimate veggie crowd pleaser and you can make it almost entirely from your store cupboard. Swap in any root veg for the mash, and switch in tinned lentils if easier. Dot with garlic butter before baking for an extra delight.. It serves at least 5 people - so enough for lunch the next day:
For the Filling:
1 red onion or a leek - diced
2 carrots - chopped
5 or 6 Chestnut Mushrooms - sliced
2 garlic cloves - crushed
3 or 4 sage leaves, and some thyme and parsley if you have it
300g red or brown lentils – brown take longer to cook
1 tin of tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
500 - 600ml hot vegetable stock (Kallo is best)
Tblsp Soy sauce, same of Worcester sauce
Pinch of chilli flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground back pepper
For the Mash:
2 large floury white potatoes
1 large sweet potato
1 small cauliflower or half a large one
large knob of butter
grated cheddar cheese
**or any combo or root veg you like – celeriac, parsnip etc
Sweat the onions in a little warmed oil; add the carrots, then mushrooms and bring back to hot; add garlic and stir; add the washed lentils and coat in the juices; tip in toms and paste; add ripped up herbs and finally the stock until the lentils are well covered. Add chili flakes, soy, Worcs sauce and season. Bring to boil, then simmer for 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
Bring a large pan of water to boil. Add chopped sweet potatoes first, then a few mins later the white potatoes. After 10 mins add the cauli and simmer for another 8 minutes. Drain and then immediately return to the pan with a clean tea towel completely covering it to steam through. After a few mins, add a large knob of butter and mash.
Tip the filling into a large pie dish and then gently add the mash to the top using a spoon and a fork. Cover with grated cheese and pop under a hot grill for a minute or 2.
Serve with mixed green veg or a spinach salad.