Shepherdess Pie

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Prep time:

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Serves: 6

By OtterInaSkoda

(1 Vote) 2


  • 1 medium onion

  • 1/2 pints vegetable stock (or chicken)

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional but recommended, to taste)

  • 1 handful cheese grated

  • 1 stick celery (optional)

  • 115g pearl barley

  • 170g red lentils

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 2 cloves garlic optional

  • 8 large potatoes cooked and mashed

  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes

  • 1 tsp Marmite

  • 1 handful mushrooms (optional)

  • 1 tbsp tomato purée (really quite optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Blitz the onion and carrots (and garlic and celery, if using) in your whizzer. Or finely chop by hand if you are so inclined.
  3. Heat a little oil in a frying pan (or Le Creuset-style casserole) and add the vegetables and tomato purée and stir for a moment or two. Add the mushrooms (if using) and fry a further minute or two, stirring often (you don’t want this to burn). You may need to add a touch more oil if the mushrooms absorb it all.
  4. Add the lentils and pearl barley to the pan and give a good stir. Add the stock, Marmite, cayenne and tinned tomatoes.
  5. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the lentils are softened – perhaps 20 minutes but use your judgement.
  6. You may well need to add a little water or stock if the mixture seems a bit dry.
  7. Check the seasoning – you might like to add more cayenne (I think it can handle a fair bit of spice) and certainly some black pepper, possibly some salt.
  8. Pour into a large pie dish (I usually make this in a Le Creuset-style casserole dish, so do all the frying, cooking and baking in the same dish) and top with the mash.
  9. Dot the top with butter perhaps and sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Stick in the oven for about 30 minutes (this timing is very flexible) until nicely browned. Serve with a lovely green salad.

Handy Hint

You could give this to babies if you cut out the salt (ie used no salt stock) but I'm not sure how nice that would be.
Depending obviously on ages, children could help cutting the mushrooms and mashing the potatoes.

Additional Information

  • Kids can help

  • Potato

  • Vegetarian

  • Nut Free

  • Egg Free

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Your comments

  • JohnnyBarthes 22/06/14 18:57

    I appear to have missed out the rather important chop, boil and mash your potatoes, which probably ought to be at point 6 [blush]

  • OtterInaSkoda 08/01/10 15:00

    I once added some diced pancetta that needed using up. It was lovely - but clearly no longer vegetarian!