When I was growing up, my family always sat down to dinner together. It was a really special time when we would catch up on what everyone had been doing during the day over some delicious, healthy food.
My take on family meals is that they need to be something everyone will eat, so you are not making 2-3 meals, relatively quick and easy (although admittedly these pies aren’t quick!), be able to feed plenty of people (or have leftovers), include vegetables and be not too expensive to produce.
These pies get the tick for most of those except the quick bit! However this is one of those recipes that can be made in parts. For example you can cook the filling 3-4 days ahead (on the weekend) and store it in the fridge, or you can freeze it. It is also possible to roast the sweet potato when you are cooking something else and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can even cook the individual pies and freeze them.
These are super-tasty and a great way to ‘hide’ vegetables in a meal. I’d love to know what your family think. Enjoy!
- 1 large(750 grams) sweet potato
- ½ cup uncooked brown or puy lentils (or 400 gram tin lentils, drained and rinsed)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion
- 500 grams turkey, chicken or beef mince
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 large flat (120 grams) mushrooms, diced
- 3 medium carrots (330 grams), grated
- 400 gram tin diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamari or light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato sauce or relish
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 cup peas
- ½ cup frozen spinach, or a large handful of baby spinach leaves
- 2-3 small (700 grams unpeeled, 500 grams when peeled) celeriac
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste
- 50 grams tasty cheese
- Heat oven to 170 degrees.
- Place sweet potato on lined oven tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the pie filling: If using dry lentils, cook them in boiling water for 15-20 minutes. Drain.
- Heat a large sauteing pan over medium heat.
- When hot, add the oil and onion and cook until the onion browns, 4-5 minutes
- Add the mince, using a wooden spoon, break it up and cook until it starts to brown, 7-8 minutes.
- Add garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the carrots, tomatoes, rinse the tomato tin out with about ½ cup water and add that, Worcestershire sauce, tamari or soy sauce, tomato sauce, stock and lentils. Cook for 7-8 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cornflour over the top and mix through.
- Add peas and spinach and stir through. Turn heat off and set aside.
- Peel celeriac, cut into small cubes and boil in water for 15 minutes until soft. Drain.
- When the sweet potato is cooked, cut open and scoop out the middle. Do not discard the skin, see link below for what to do with it!
- Put cooked sweet potato, celeriac, butter or oil, milk, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor and puree.
- Turn oven up to 220 degrees.
- Pour shepherds pie middle into a large ceramic dish or scoop into individual ramekins.
- Top with sweet potato and celeriac puree.
- Grate cheese on top and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and browned.
- Serve with a green salad or steamed greens.
Do not throw away the sweet potato skin. Here’s a delicious idea for them
This post was inspired by the recipe redux theme this month ‘family meals’
Here are some other ideas for family meals…