I was so excited to try this recipe from the October issue of Bon Appétit that I broke one of my own cooking rules. I didn’t read through it before starting. If I had, I would have known to get an earlier start and be able to complete all the steps in one day. Luckily, it included do ahead tips for the topping, filling, and sauce. Once all that was done it was a cinch to assemble – even if it was a day late. Oh well, that’s what frozen pizza is for.
Sun Oven Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit magazine)
For the topping:
3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup milk, warm
For the filling:
1/2 cup dried lentils
3 cloves garlic, plus 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
three tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon soy sauce
6 cups of mixed vegetables (such as squash, turnips, carrots, and parsnips)
1 cup fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Topping: Put the potatoes in a large roasting pan, cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until tender, about 1 hour. Peel then press the potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Stir in the butter until blended. Stir in the milk. Season to taste with salt. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Cool, press plastic wrap directly onto the potatoes and refrigerate.
Filling: Put the lentils in a small pot with 1 garlic clove and 2 cups water. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until lentils are soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes. Drain and discard garlic.
Toss the vegetables and the remaining 2 garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon oil in a large roasting pan. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Roast the vegetables until tender, about 45 minutes. Transfer garlic cloves to a small bowl and mash with a fork, set aside.
While the vegetables are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until the tomato paste is caramelized, 2 – 3 minutes.
Add the bay leaf and wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, about 45 minutes. Strain mixture into a large sauce pan and bring to a boil; discard the solids. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the broth mixture and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the soy sauce and the mashed garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Lentils, sauce, and vegetables can be made 1 day ahead. Store in separate, covered containers and refrigerate.)
Put the lentils in a lidded roasting pan. Toss the roasted vegetables with the mushrooms and the parsley and layer on top of the lentils. Pour the sauce over the vegetables. Spoon the potato mixture evenly over. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Bake until browned and the filling begins to bubble, about 45 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.