Vegan cottage pie - this vegan shepherd's pie is the ultimate vegan comfort food! A meat-free mushroom and lentil base is topped with a cloud of fluffy mashed potato making a hearty, filling, healthy meal.
Heat the sundried tomato oil in a large pan over a low heat and add the onion, leek, celery and carrot. Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until soft.
Add the chopped mushrooms, crushed garlic, sundried tomatoes, dried rosemary and thyme and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft and all of the excess liquid has evaporated.
Add the red wine and stir until it has mostly evaporated then add the tinned tomatoes, soy sauce, vegetable stock cube, water, sugar and drained lentils.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it has reduced to a thick sauce then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
While the sauce is cooking, place the chopped potatoes in a large pan of cold water with a pinch of salt and bring up to a simmer. Cook until tender then drain well.
Mash the potatoes with the vegan butter/spread, nutritional yeast and enough milk to make a smooth, creamy mash. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the cooked filling into a large baking dish (mine is 32 x 25 x 7cm / 12 ½ x 10 x 2 ¾ inches) and spoon the mashed potato in dollops on top. Spread the potato level then rough up the surface, either with the back of a spoon to create swirls or drag the tines of a fork through it in lines.
Bake for about half an hour until deep golden brown then serve.
Either the whole pie or potions thereof can be frozen in an airtight container. Allow to defrost then reheat in the oven or microwave.