In celebration of Pi Day, St Patrick’s Day and Meatless March I decided to whip up this Guinness Lentil Gardener’s Pie. Although you do not need a circular dish to make this pie, you get so much more metaphoric bang for your buck when you do.
It’s been a few years since I’ve made a shepherd’s pie. The last recipe I posted for a shepherd’s pie was a sweet potato turkey shepherd’s pie that turned out amazing. This time around, I made this meatless pie with lentils which provide a significant portion of the protein.
Type of Lentils
There are several types of lentils. I grew up eating green and brown lentils. Brown and green lentils are pretty popular in some locations and are what come to mind for many when they think “lentils”. I used green/brown my Curried Lentils and Swiss Chard with Lentils recipes.
French lentils have thicker skins than brown and green lentils. Because of the thicker skin they keep their shape when cooked. Red lentils on the other hand become pleasantly mushy when cooked; they are popular for Indian curries and soups. Black (Beluga) lentils are less common and the thickness of their skin is between that of french and brown lentils.
Lentils are considered to be a top “functional food”. Functional foods are foods that “have a potentially positive effect on health beyond basic nutrition. Proponents of functional foods say they promote optimal health and help reduce the risk of disease.” Lentils are rich in polyphenols and are good sources of fiber and protein. One cup of cooked lentils provides:
- 230 calories
- 39.9 grams carbohydrates
- 17.9 grams protein
- 0.8 gram fat
- 15.6 grams fiber
- 358 micrograms folate (90 percent DV)
- 1 milligram manganese (49 percent DV)
- 6.6 milligrams iron (37 percent DV)
- 356 milligrams phosphorus (36 percent DV)
- 0.5 milligram copper (25 percent DV)
- 0.3 milligram thiamine (22 percent DV)
- 731 milligrams potassium (21 percent DV)
About the Recipe
Let’s get cooking! For this recipe, I recommend french or black lentils since they provide more texture. You can use green/brown lentils, however, as I realized when I tested this recipe with them, the overall texture of the dish is turns out to be soft with green/brown lentils. I topped this shepherd’s pie with mozzarella cheese, but you can use cheddar or completely omit the cheese if you’d like. Also feel free to use you favorite stout for this recipe. Try this recipe and let me know what you think.
Prep Time: 15 minutes . Cook Time: 40 minutes Yield: Serves 8
2 Lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Whole Cloves Garlic, peeled
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozzarella or Cheddar cheese
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
Chopped Green Onions for garnish
Guinness Lentil Filling
2 Cups French or Black Lentils, cooked or canned*
12 Oz Frozen Peas
10 Oz Baby Portobello Mushrooms, chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Large Yellow Onion, chopped
1 Large Carrot, chopped
6 Oz Tomato Paste
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 Tbsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 Cup Guinness (or your preferred stout)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Mashed Potatoes: Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add potatoes, whole garlic cloves and a pinch a salt. Boil potatoes for about 15-20 minutes until soft. Drain the water, but reserve about 2 cups of it. Transfer potatoes to a bowl or leave in the same pot. Add olive oil, salt and pepper to potatoes; mash with a fork or masher. Add some reserved water as necessary to make the potatoes creamier.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (preferably oven safe) skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook until golden brown (5 minutes); tossing occasionally. Add the onions and garlic; cook until onions are translucent and begin to get brown (about 5-10 minutes). Add carrots and cook for an additionally 2 minutes. Use some stout to deglaze the pan.
4. Throw in cooked lentils, frozen peas, smoked paprika, parsley and thyme. Pour in the remainder of stout and tomato paste. Mix all ingredients well until tomato paste is evenly dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Thicken by stirring in a couple tablespoons of mashed potatoes. Season filling with salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
5. If skillet is not oven safe, transfer lentil filling to a casserole dish, otherwise leave topping in skillet. Carefully top fill with mashed potatoes by first distributing large spoonfuls of potatoes over filling, then smoothen potato topping it with a knife, spoon or spatula. Sprinkle cheese over potatoes.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until cheese melts; garnish with green onions. Let cool for a few minutes before diving into 8 equal servings.