Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Veganuary is an annual challenge run by a UK non-profit organisation that promotes and educates about veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for the month of January.
Since the event began in 2014, participation has increased each year with 400,000 people signed up to the 2020 campaign.
A survey conducted by Veganuary revealed that more than a third (36 percent) of non-vegans who signed up planned to stay vegan after the challenge ended, while 20 percent of those said the chief reason for remaining vegan was because they found it easier than expected.
During the 2022 campaign, more than 620,000 people took up the pledge to try a vegan diet, while more than 1,540 new vegan products and menu options were launched. For more information visit www.veganuary.com
• Peel the potatoes and cut into large, uniform-sized chunks. Place in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 5.
• Whilst the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a pan over a low-medium heat, add the carrot, celery and onion and fry gently for 8-10 minutes, until soft and caramelised. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further two minutes, then add the lentils. Pour over the stock, season well and bring to a rapid boil for five minutes and then down to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check the lentils are cooked and still have a little bite to them and that the stock has reduced. Once nearly done, add the peas and cook for two minutes. Take off the heat and stir through the pickled walnuts and brine and check the seasoning.
• Drain the potatoes in a colander, allowing them to steam dry for 3 minutes, and transfer back to a pan and mash as smoothly as possible. Put the pan back on a low heat, pushing the potatoes to one side and adding the milk and butter to the other. Allow the milk and butter to melt together and stir into the potato allowing it to cook for a couple of minutes.
• Transfer the lentil mix to an ovenproof dish. Top with the mashed potato, scoring ridges with a fork. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.