This is my one and only contribution to the world of cuisine. As a non-meat-eater, I use “meat-free” mince or quorn chunks (nowadays easily available from larger supermarkets), but carnivores can use the slaughtered variety… 

Ingredients (all measures are approximate): 

12 oz short-crust pastry

4 oz orange split lentils (or broth mix, or a combination of both)

1 medium-to-large onion, or equivalent red onion or shallots (finely chopped)

5 oz mushrooms (coarsely-chopped)

5 oz (meat free) mince

Stock (mix the following with 6 fl oz of water in a saucepan and simmer until required: 1 tbsp tomato puree/1 tbsp garlic puree/2 tsp gravy powder/2 tsp "Bouillon" vegetable stock/1 level tsp marmite or vegemite/2 tsp mixed herbs/2 dashes of Worcester sauce)

8 medium-sized King Edward or Maris Piper potatoes (peeled and diced)

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (peeled and diced)

Tin of chickpeas (optional instead of equivalent amount of potatoes)

4 oz grated (or crumbled) cheese (optional)





Selection of vegetables


Cooking Instructions

Boil the lentils/broth mix on a hob until soft then remove and rinse. Whilst doing this, roll out the pastry (make your own or buy ready-made, now easily available in supermarkets). Line pastry in large shallow baking dish, and place in pre-heated oven (gas mark 8 or equivalent) for approx 10-15 minutes (it should be almost baked). 

Boil chickpeas and potatoes in a large saucepan until soft. Remove, rinse, and then replace in (rinsed) pot. Add the cheese, parsley, margarine, milk and salt as required, and mix and mash thoroughly.

Whilst the mash mix is boiling, pan-fry onions, mushrooms, veggie mince/quorn chunks, and lentil/broth mix in oil (in this order, but meat-eaters should fry their mince first), then stir in the stock on a lower heat until the consistency is neither too stodgy or too runny (add extra water if necessary). Fill pastry-lined dish to rim (if it doesn’t all fit in, then keep the rest to reheat later and add to plates before serving).

Heap the mash mix on top of the pie filling and over the pastry edges (use a fork or similar implement to evenly spread). Replace dish in oven* until a brown crust forms on the mash (usually around 15 minutes).

Prepare vegetables to your liking, and gravy likewise. Remove pie from the oven when ready (if crust has not developed to your liking, take a short cut by sticking the pie under the grill for 2-3 minutes). Slice and serve with the vegetables and gravy.  

This dish takes the best part of an hour to make, but is always devoured with great enthusiasm so it's worth it - yum.

* I place the dish in a larger baking tray first so I don't have to touch it when removing from the oven whilst it's hot - it also means you won't spoil the presentation by digging your thumbs into the mash!


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