Halloween does not have to be all about the candy; it's a time to embrace the flavors of fall, too. What better way to do that than with a comforting shepherd's pie? Loaded with vegetables and pulses and a layer of mashed sweet potato, this Moroccan-spiced shepherd's pie is one that you will want to make again beyond Halloween — with or without the graveyard diorama.
Graveyard Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan]
For the Pie:
- 1 1/4 cups De Puy lentils
- 1 celery stick
- 2 carrots
- 1 medium parsnip
- 2 handfuls frozen peas
- 2 handfuls frozen corn
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 4 teaspoon ras el hanout (see notes)
- Juice and zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- A small bunch of coriander
- 1.3 pounds sweet potato
- 1.3 pounds pumpkin
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Decoration:
- Tortilla wraps
- Potato mash (from about 1/2 pound potatoes)
- Black food coloring
- A few frozen peas
To Make the Pie:
- Heat some salted water in both a large saucepan and a small saucepan.
- Peel sweet potatoes and pumpkin. Cut into a 3/4-inch dice.
- When water is boiling, add lentils to the small saucepan and sweet potatoes and pumpkin to the large saucepan.
- Lentils should cook in 12 minutes (they need to be slightly undercooked so they still have a bite). Sweet potatoes and pumpkin should be also done in 12 minutes (you want them completely done so that they are easy to mash).
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- While the lentils and vegetables are cooking, heat some olive oil in a large frying pan.
- Gently fry finely chopped onion with 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped carrots, celery, and parsnip in 4 teaspoons of ras el hanout.
- Drain lentils when done. Add to frying pan with chopped tomatoes. Mix well with the onion mixture. Add finely chopped coriander. Season with lemon juice plus salt and pepper. Stir in frozen peas and corn. Set aside.
- Drain sweet potato and pumpkin when done. Mash together adding 1 crushed garlic clove, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the lemon zest. Season to taste.
- Pour lentils and vegetable mixture into an oven dish. Cover with mash. Cook for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden.
- While this is baking, make the mash that you will need to shape the ghosts.
To Make the Decoration:
- To make the decorations, cut tortilla wraps into a tombstone and / or tree shapes. Put in the oven next to the shepherd's pie for a few minutes until crisp and hard. Decorate with food colouring.
- The ghosts are made from mashed potatoes (from 1/2 pound of potatoes) shaped by hand with 2 frozen peas each for the eyes.
- When cooked, garnish the shepherd's pie with the decorations you have made.
- Eat straight away.
Ras al hanout is a North African spice that can be found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores or in any Middle Eastern grocery.