This recipe was adapted from Dr. Allinson’s Cookery Book, by Thomas R. Allinson (1915).
Part of what I like about this project is the abundance of recipes that are naturally vegetarian. Due to several factors including industrialism, which drove people from the fields and to the cities, the fact that people were raising their own animals (which takes time for them to fatten), and that people didn’t have the money for meat at every meal, there are plenty of recipes that were written without meat in mind. If you want to see some meat consumption data from 1909, here’s an interesting post.
And all of that is a long way of saying that this recipe is for a lentil pie. It’s not a meatless shepherd’s pie. It was designed to be enjoyed without meat. However, the original recipe did include hard boiled eggs, so I’ve kept them in only as an option so that this pie can still be delightfully vegan without them. So on to the recipe!
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 1 to 1.5 hours
- Yields: 1 pie (6 servings)
What You Need
- 1 egg, hard-boiled (optional)
- .5 cup dried lentils, sorted
- 1.5 cups broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 medium potato, diced
- .5 cup onion, diced
- 1 small carrot, diced
- 2 large vine tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch
- .5 tsp basil
- .5 tsp oregano
- .5 tsp salt
- .25 cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- pepper and salt to taste
- 1 pie crust (ready made, or your own recipe)
What You Do
- Hard boil 1 egg. Set aside. (optional)
- Sort the lentils. Why sort? Dry lentils often have tiny stones in them. Depending on the brand, you may have fewer or no stones, but I always sort anyway. The agony of a chipped tooth is a lot worse than the effort of sorting lentils.
- Bring your 1.5 cups of broth to a boil. Toss in the regular lentils and the bay leaves. Bring back to a boil for a few minutes, then turn down to medium low. Depending on your altitude and stove, you may need to add more water to keep the lentils from boiling dry. You’re shooting for 20-30 minutes cook time on the lentils.
- Chop the onion, potatoes, and carrot.
- Toss the onions and carrots into a deep pan with some oil or butter. Cook on medium high until the onions start to get soft.
- Then toss in the potatoes, add about 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir then cover, cooking on medium for about 15 minutes. Stir to keep the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water as needed. Cook on low for an additional 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
- Preheat that oven of yours to 350F.
- When the potatoes are soft, slice the tomatoes. Set aside 4 slices, then dice the rest.
- Put the died tomatoes in with the potatoes for a few minutes until they soften.
- When the tomatoes and lentils are done, mix the lentils in with the potatoes, pull out the bay leaves and discard.
- Chop the eggs, then mix them in, adding the basil and oregano, the parmesan cheese (optional), and any additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour into your pie shell, then place the tomato slices on top.
- Cover the pie crust only with strips of aluminum foil to keep it from browning too quickly.
- Slide the pie into the oven and bake at 350F for about an hour.