National Pie Day: Savory Shepard’s Pie

The American Pie Association has claimed Jan 23rd as National Pie Day! Who is the American Pie Association and why did they make a national holiday dedicated to pie? Do Americans really need an excuse to eat pie?

Todays weather calls for a warming, savory pie for dinner. Savory Lentil Shepard’s pie made with a blanket of local potatoes and caramelized onions with a lentil stew underneath. Need to save time? Skip a step and use canned lentils instead.

For the mashed potatoes:

    • 3 pounds local Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled
    • 1/2  stick) unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
    • sea salt
    • a few tablespoons of milk
    • for the lentil stew
  • handful of sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup brown or French green lentils
  •  2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 sea salt plus more for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 cups dry white wine (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4-6 cups ½-inch pieces peeled fall vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips)
  • ¼ cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, and sage)

Preheat oven to 450°. Bake potatoes on a  baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes.  Mash potatoes. Add butter; stir until well blended. Stir in milk. Season to taste with salt.

Combine lentils,  1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–20 minutes. Drain lentils. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes. Add bay leaves and wine; stir. Stir in broth and 
cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half. Stir cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl to dissolve. Add cornstarch mixture; simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in Lentils. Pour lentils into casserole dish. Cover with mashed potatoes and optional caramelized onions! For caramelized onions recipe go to simply recipes. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Your whole house will be warmed and smell delicious! Enjoy!

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