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Lentil Cumberland Pie

by Jo Scarratt-Jones from Eat Well For Less: Every Day

This vegetarian pie packed with lentils and potato from BBC's Eat Well For Less makes for a brilliant winter comfort food dinner to feed a crowd and couldn't be quicker to make.

From the book


Dried green lentils are a very versatile ingredient – they’re cheap, easy to cook and take on the flavours of the other ingredients they’re cooked with. Why not try this tempting lentil Cumberland pie for a change, and have a meat-free midweek meal? You’ll be surprised how little you miss the meat in this classic pie.

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2 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 carrots, peeled and grated
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
¼ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 tbsp gluten free yeast extract
160g dried green lentils, rinsed and drained
1 vegetable stock cube
800ml boiling water
800g floury potatoes, scrubbed and roughly chopped
40g butter
100g light mature Cheddar cheese, grated
320g frozen peas
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

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Heat a large sauté pan or saucepan over a medium heat. Add the vegetable oil, onion, carrots and celery and stir well, then cook for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften.

Stir in the dried thyme and oregano, the tomato purée and yeast extract and cook for 1 minute. Add the dried lentils and mix really well, then add the crumbled stock cube and the boiling water and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes until the lentils are tender and the liquid is reduced, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a separate saucepan and cover with water. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook for 15–20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes really well, then return to the pan and heat for 1 minute, shaking the pan to drive off any excess moisture.

Remove from the heat, add the butter, half of the grated cheese and plenty of black pepper and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

By now the lentils should be tender. Stir the frozen peas into the lentil mixture (the peas will heat through in the oven), then tip it into a medium-sized ovenproof dish and spread level across the dish.

Spoon the cheesey mash over the lentils, then using a fork, level it out (this creates little ridges that will become nice and crispy) to cover the lentil mixture completely.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the top, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve immediately.

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From the book: Eat Well For Less: Every Day

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