This Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie is an extremely warm and comforting entree. This unique take on shepherd’s pie captures the essence of the classic version minus the meat. The charred broccoli is bursting with flavor and it adds to the overall savory essence of the dish. The lentils provide protein and deliver a heartiness facet while the mashed potatoes deliver the comforting component.
Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan]
For the Mashed Potatoes
- 2 Pounds Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 2/3 Cups Plant-based Milk
- 6 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
- 1 1/4 Teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt - or to taste
- 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
For the Lentils
- 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
- 4 Cups Filtered Water
- 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube - unsalted
- 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt - or to taste
For the Caramelized Onion
- 2 Small White or Yellow Onions - thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
- 2 Tablespoons +1/3 Cup Dry White Wine (Sauvignon Blanc works well)
- 2 Cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried
- 1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt - or to taste
- 1 Tablespoon Vegan Butter
- 2 Teaspoons Arrowroot Powder
- 2 Vegetable Bouillon Cube - unsalted
- 1/3 Cup Tomato Sauce - I used strained tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Filtered Water
For the Charred Broccoli
- 2 Large Heads Broccoli - 8 Cups - roughly chopped - charring the broccoli literally halves in size
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt - or to taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
For the Mashed Potatoes:
- Start by peeling and then cutting potatoes into cubes; place potato cubes in a large pot and cover with filtered water.
- Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until very tender.
- Use a timer and check at 15 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes and add them back to the pot along with the butter. Mash well.
- When the butter is melted, add the milk, salt, and pepper.
- Mix until fluffy.
For the Lentils:
- Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks, then rinse and drain.
- Add the lentils, bouillon, and salt to a medium pot covered with 2 inches of water.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer.
- Cook until tender approx. 15 minutes.
- You don’t want them too soft because they will continue to cook in the oven.
- Check them at 15 minutes. They should be cooked but still firm.
- Strain and set aside.
For the Onions:
- Slice the onions in half, cut the ends off, remove the skin, and slice into thin half circles.
- In a large sauté pan, add onion and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring after about 8 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water, deglaze the golden crust (fond) by scraping it with a wooden spoon and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon wine, thyme, garlic, and salt, then deglaze (scrape up the fond) and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Add another tablespoon of wine, scrape the fond off the pan, and set the pan aside. (A total of 20 minutes.)
- Add the butter to the onions and when melted, stir in the arrowroot powder, add the wine, and mash in the bouillon.
- Next, add the tomato sauce and lentils. Stir everything together.
For the Charred Broccoli:
- Preheat oven to 425°F degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper.
- Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
- Roast for 20 - 25 minutes or until broccoli is as charred as you like it.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread the lentil/onion mix on the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish, then top with the broccoli.
- Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top of the broccoli and smooth it out as best you can.
- Place on the middle rack and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until slightly golden.