Make the chili a day ahead and the flavors will have time to infuse and become more delicious in this highly shareable dish. This is a really mild chili (I doused my serving in hot sauce) so add some more chili powder, chili flakes or cayenne for more heat.
Mexican Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan]
- 1 large onion, diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 4 large tomatoes, chopped (or omit, I just had some extra)
- 1 tin of kidney beans
- 1/3 cup sweetcorn kernels, tinned or frozen
- 1 chili pepper, de-seeded if you want less heat
- 1 cup of brown or green lentils, rinsed
- 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- oil, for frying
- 2 stock cubes, crumbled (gluten-free if needed)
- handful of chopped coriander
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp. cumin powder
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 3 large sweet potatoes, chopped into chunks
- Zest and juice of a lime
- salt and pepper
- In a large pot, heat a splash of oil over a medium heat and add in the onion. Cook til translucent, then add the garlic and chopped chili and cook for another minute.
- Add in the rest bell peppers, fresh tomatoes and spices and cook for a further few minutes ’til fragrant.
- Add in the tinned tomatoes and stir the pot well, deglazing the bottom. Then add the water, lentils and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring every so often.
- Add in the sweetcorn and kidney beans and simmer uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. If it looks like there’s a little too much liquid, don’t worry. It should be fine when left to cool and the lentils absorb a bit more of it.
- Place the sweet potato in a pot of salted boiling water and cover. Simmer for about 8 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with the juice and zest of a lime, salt and pepper. You can add some chili flakes for heat if you like.
- In a large casserole dish (or two smaller ones), pour in a layer of the chili about 1½-2 inches thick. Top with mashed sweet potato and cover with foil. Place in the oven at 375ºF for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes.