Nicky’s Shepherds Pie
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This dish is an absolutely perfect Autumn/Winter dish. It takes a little more time to make but is so worth it in the end. It’s warming, comforting and totally scrummy. It is one of my family’s favourite.
The thing is about cooking for a family though, is that everyone wants and needs something different. In my family my husband is a 6ft 4inch Kiwi and tends to need much heavier foods to me, I am 5ft 3inch from Hong Kong and like to eat lighter with lots of veggies and our little girl is a cute 2year old with a big appetite.who is obviously taking after her father and therefore needs much richer foods. We all need such different diets to satisfy us, so making sure that everyone is satisfied is a skill that I have had learn on a fast track training over the past couple of years (and am still learning every single day!).
But there are certain dishes that just work for everyone every time! And this pie is one of them!
A good old Shepherds Pie – well, it is my version of the good old Shepherds Pie, so it is plant-based and dairy & sugar free, but it has all the same qualities as a Shepherds Pie should have! A creamy comforting delicious topping and a rich, meaty filling packed with flavour.
I use an ingredient in the topping called Mochi which you may or may not have heard of, so I wanted to explain a little about it first. Mochi is brown rice that has been pounded really hard, many many times until it becomes sticky and gooey. It can either be used then or it can then be dried into blocks and kept for longer periods of time. This is how you can buy it at health foods stores, in dry blocks. When baked, cooked, melted or fried it becomes deliciously gooey and rich and is an absolutely treat. It is an extremely nourishing food. So much so that if any of you readers are pregnant, then eat plenty of Mochi and it will give you really rich abundant breast milk! You can find Mochi at most health food stores now a days – it can be expensive so only use it occasionally!
I grate the mochi into the topping before the pie goes in the oven so it becomes gooey and works exactly like grated cheese, as well as making the topping even more rich. It is delicious. But if you don’t have it and can’t get hold of it then just leave it out and the pie will still be delicious.
Millet Mash Topping
- 150g Millet
- ½ Large Cauliflower
- 3 Potatoes
- Sea salt
- 2 Pinches Nutmeg
- 2 Blocks Grated Dried mochi
- Soya or Rice Milk milk
- 25g Flat Leaf Parsley
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Large Red Onions (Cut finely)
- 2 Large Organic Carrots (peeled and cut into fine cubes)
- 2 Medium Organic Courgettes (Cut into fine cubes)
- 1 Large Bunch Thyme (finely cut)
- 200g Puy Lentils
- 2 Garlic Cloves (Finely cut)
- Veg Stock or Water
- 2-4 Tbls Tamari
- 3 Tbls of 5 Spice
– Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C
– Bring 3 parts of water to the boil and add 1 part of millet, 1 potato with cauliflower. Simmer for 25 minutes
– Once done add enough salt, nutmeg, grated mochi and a little milk if needed. Mix in well so that it is like a creamy mash
– Leave to set and move on to make the Lentil filling
– Fry the Onions in some sesame oil with a pinch of sea salt until they turn translucent
– Add Garlic and Carrots and another pinch of sea salt. Mix and fry so veg begin to sweat
– Once Carrots are becoming softer add the Courgettes and puy lentils with a little veg stock (About half of it with some bay leaves). Add another good pinch of sea salt and leave to simmer until all veg are cooked
– Season with parsley and thyme and simmer a little longer
– Taste – add tamari and 5 spice
– Once done ladle into a pie dish and smooth out the top.
– Then add the Millet Mash topping and with your fork make ridges into the top
– Lastly, grate some mochi over the top and blend it in a little with the mash
– Put in the oven for 30min so that the top becomes all crispy
– Take out and sprinkle Fresh parsley over the top!
Voila! You’re done! Enjoy x