March Recipe: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Goat’s Cheese Mash

vegandpulses-croppedThe pulses for this recipe you will be able to obtain from Handley Organics. Root vegetables are, of course, very much in season at this time of year, but such small quantities are required that you might want to leave out celeriac and double the quantity of carrots. You could mix the potatoes and use some sweet ones if desired.

Do not worry if you cannot find mace, it is the outer shell of nutmeg, and may be available in Handley Organics. Going out of town, it certainly would be found in Waitrose I imagine, but it is such a small quantity I would suggest replacing it with ground nutmeg.

I promise next month to give you something sweet in case you are wanting a cake or dessert recipe.


  • 4ozs. / 110g. dried black-eyed beans, pre-soaked and drained
  • 3/ozs. / 75g. split peas, pre-soaked
  • 3ozs. / 75g. green lentils, no need to soak, rinsed
  • 1 ¼ pt. boiling water
  • 2ozs. / 50g. peeled carrots
  • 2ozs. / 50g. peeled swede
  • 2ozs. / 50g. peeled celeriac
  • 1 large onion, peeled
  • 1 small green pepper, deseeded
  • 2ozs. / 50g. butter, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 1 heaped tbsp. chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • ¼ tsp. gd. mace
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

For the topping:

  • 4ozs. / 110g. soft goats’ cheese
  • 1lb. 8ozs. / 700g. potatoes, peeled
  • 8ozs. / 225g. tomatoes
  • 2ozs. / 50g. butter
  • 2 tbsps. milk
  • 1ozs. / 25g. pecorino cheese, grated
  1. Put the drained beans into a saucepan with the split peas and lentils. Add the boiling water and some salt, cover and simmer gently for 50 – 60 minutes or until the pulses have absorbed the water and are soft. Then remove them from the heat and mash them a little with a large fork.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190C and put the potatoes on to cook. Roughly chop all the vegetables, pile the whole lot into a food processor and process until chopped small.. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the vegetables. Cook gently for 10 – 15 minutes until softened.
  3. Skin the tomatoes by placing in boiling water and leaving for a minute. Slice them when skinned.
  4. Add the vegetables to the pulses mixture, along with the herbs, spices, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and arrange the tomatoes in overlapping slices on the top.
  5. When the potatoes are soft, place in a bowl with the butter, milk and goat’s cheese and mash to a smooth puree, season with salt and pepper and spread over the rest of the ingredients. Sprinkle over the Pecorino and bake on the top shelf for 20 – 25 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. If prepared in advance it will need about 40 minutes in the oven.

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