Great Meals for a Change

A fun way to taste, talk and learn about sustainable food

Shepherd's Pie

Makes: 10 servings

Hearty ground meat/lentils mixed with mushrooms, corn and peas topped with a layer of smooth and creamy mashed potatoes.


  • 8-9 medium-sized potatoes, peeled, then cut into halves or quarters
  • 2 tbsp butter or margarine
  • ¾ to 1 cup milk (Adjust amount according to texture)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Pinch of paprika
  • Filling
  • 2 lb ground meat (lamb, beef or wild game),
    2 cups dry green (or brown) lentils
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped small
  • 2 parsnips, chopped small
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300-400g (10-14oz) mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 can (156mL or 5.5 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (398mL or 14 oz) diced tomatoes
  • ½ tsp each of dried rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • ⅛ tsp chili powder (optional, adjust to taste)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce


  • Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water. When tender, drain and mash with the butter and milk to obtain creamy (not stiff) mashed potatoes. Season to taste.
  • For vegetarian version:
  • Rinse and drain lentils. Place in heavy-bottom saucepan and cover with 5 or 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered until tender and just starting to disintegrate, approximately 20-30 min, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a very large pan, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and parsnips with a small amount of olive oil and the bay leaf, until almost tender. If they are slow in cooking, add a bit of water, cover and cook until the carrots are tender. Add the cooked lentils to the vegetables.
  • Meat base version:
  • In a very large pan, sauté the onions, celery, carrots and parsnips with a small amount of olive oil and the bay leaf, until almost tender about 5 minutes. Add ground meat and cook over medium-high heat, stirring and breaking up meat with a spoon until it is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  • Both versions (continued from veggie or meat version above):
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Add dried herbs, garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are tender. Then add the peas and corn, stir. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes. Season to taste with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce (optional), chili powder (optional), and salt and pepper.
  • Use one or more deep dishes (casserole or loaf pans). Spread meat or lentil base approximately 2 inches thick, and top with roughly 1 inch of potato. Use a fork to decorate the top if you like. Sprinkle grated cheese and paprika over the top. At this point, you can refrigerate it for up to 2 days, or bake it right away.
  • Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. You can set the oven to broil for the last few minutes to brown the top even more.
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