Tender, bite-size pieces of potato, mushroom and carrot nestle in a hearty red wine and thyme lentil gravy. Golden flaky pastry tops it off!
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- 4 sheets frozen dairy-free puff pastry
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 carrots, halved lengthways and cut into 5mm thick half moons
- 1 large golden onion, finely diced
- 3-4 large field mushrooms, cut into large wedges or sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
- 3 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-2cm cubes
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 x 400g tins lentils, drained but not rinsed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2½ cups Massel beef-style stock
- ⅓ cup vegan Worcestershire sauce (order it here, or make your own), to taste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari, to taste
- 1 heaped tbsp cornflour or Gravox Supreme gravy powder
- 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
- 2-3 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
- Dairy-free milk, for brushing
Take your puff pastry out of the freezer and allow to thaw slowly in the fridge while you make the pie filling. Also arrange four ramekins, each 1½-2 cups in capacity, on a baking tray, ready for filling.
In a large, heavy-based stockpot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrots and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. Crumble in the dried sage, add the ground coriander and stir well. Add the thyme sprigs, rosemary, potatoes and sweet potato, then give everything a good mix.
Increase the heat to medium-high and, when the pan is sizzling, pour in the wine. Stir well to deglaze the pan, then let the wine reduce for about 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils, add the bay leaves, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240C conventional, or 220C fan-forced.
Stir the Worcestershire and soy sauces through the lentil mixture, along with a few grinds of black pepper. Mix the cornflour or gravy powder to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons water, then add to the lentils and stir gently for about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peas and parsley.
Discard the bay leaves, then ladle the pie filling evenly into your ramekins. Allow to cool slightly.
Drape the thawed pastry over the ramekins. Pinch the edges into a decorative pattern, cut a little steam hole in the middle of each and brush the tops with dairy-free milk.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a minute or two before serving.
Variation: Mix and match with your favourite veggies — corn kernels and pumpkin would also be delicious.
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