Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

There has been another weather alert issued for the isle of Ireland, this time it is for cold and snow. I am pretty sure someone on the radio mentioned the words “blizzard” and “accumulations”. Some people are getting a bit edgy, stocking up on water and food, just in case, all the weather drama queens out there… uh? Ok, I must admit, I get pretty excited too and yesterday, I did chop a bit more wood than usual but hey, I really don’t fancy doing all this on Wednesday, snow up to my knees and in -7c winds, or at least according to the gospel of Saint Evelyn from Met Eireann, our weather forecasters ( the new Rock’n’Roll stars in Ireland since hurricane Ophelia, you should see them walking down Grafton street, with their confident swag and dark sunglasses, shooting from the hip at every steps), our shepherds… Some even say that it could be – at least for a while-  like the winter of 2010!!! Ta-Ta-Ta… Yes, you read well, 2010 was bad, it was the year the lakes froze solid…

Frozen Lough Sheelin

The year where all the countryside around here looked like this for a full month… Yes indeedeedee!…

A cold 2010

And sheep fences were like that…

sheep Fence
Sheep fencing snow

I think that I have set the mood for my next recipe, something I made yesterday after chopping all that wood, a recipe that will warm up your hearts and your bones, in case  the “Beast from the East” or the “Scandinavian Barbarian” hit us as bad as they say; personally? I am just looking forward to a “day off school”…

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

You’ll Need:

  • 200g of organic green lentils
  • 2 nice organic medium carrots
  • 1 small bulb of organic fennel
  • 1 large organic onion
  • 2 cloves of organic garlic
  • 1 tsp of organic dried dill
  • 1 tbsp of organic tomato purée
  • 6 medium organic potatoes
  • 150g of Coolea cheese (matured Gouda style from west Cork)
  • 20 cl of organic whole milk
  • 100g of good butter
  • salt and pepper


Preparing the veg

First, peel, wash and start chopping the veg in small cubes, apart from the garlic that you can slice. Set aside, and start washing the lentils in cold water…

Organic green lentils

With a good olive oil, start frying the veg gently with a little pinch of salt, but not too much; you want to leave the seasoning until the end for this one…

Frying the veg

When they start to have that nice sweating look, add in the lentils and stir a bit, leaving the gentle frying for another couple more minutes…

Adding the lentils

Add the tomato purée, stir a bit more, cover with water ( but not too much, you can always add some more) and let it simmer over a low heat until the lentils are cooked…

Organic tomato purée

While this is happening, peel the medium potatoes in 4 even enough pieces ( so they can cook at the same time) and boil gently in salted water until soft inside. Drain, put back in the pot and over the heat for a few seconds to dry the excess water off. Add a bit of milk, and a load of butter. Season with salt and pepper and start mashing.

Mashing politely…

I like to add a bit of cheese to the mash for that kind of hearty dish, and this time I have selected Coolea from Cork. This Gouda like is matured for about 18 months, it is sweet and nutty, but not too over powering. Ideal for this!

DSC00060 (2)
Coolea Cheese – Co. Cork

So, the lentils are ready, the “stew” has reduced, taste and season. In a baking tray, lay the lentil mix to about one third of the depth of the dish…

Cooked lentils at the bottom

Then cover with the mashed potatoes; you can use a piping bag, it makes it a bit easier and less messy…

Ready for the oven…

Bake at 200c for about 30 minutes, and make sure it is nice and golden…

Ready to serve

Serve with some green leaves and fresh dill, with a gentle dressing of 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice… Wonderful dish for the week to come!

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Keep Well and Eat Happy,

Slán Tamall,





19 thoughts on “Vegetarian Cottage Pie

  1. What caught my eye more than your dish and the beautiful look of your potatoes on top, is the FA-BU-LOUS picture “A cold 2010” with these stunning frozen trees. Just WOW !! And I would have loved to see that frozen lake you mentioned!

    1. Yes, it was quite incredible; guys from the local Indian restaurant were playing on one of the lakes, -18c with the wind at some stage… Tough times but great pictures. The frozen trees on the picture are just 2 km from the house, from a Farmhouse property.

  2. It’s blinking freezing here too …. I was supposed to be driving my trusty car, Franck to Cantal tomorrow and then taking my daughter on a little road trip down to Carcassonne and home via Arles (which is where my parents in law lived and where all her French memories are) but I am now desperately readjusting the schedule because in truth he is on the boarder line with tires and I don’t particularly want to end up in a spin and a ditch. So, what to do? Make this pie of course. My dear Breton buddy, I am hoovering up your veggie recettes and I’m all the better for them. 😊

  3. Mashing politely? Surely some kind of oxymoron? Anyway, just for a change, us city slicker hinterlanders are going to get whacked more than our country cousins. Pray for us, Franck, and send food parcels…

    1. It’s a wink at when Homer Simpson went on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins; the lead singer introduced him self: ” Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkin” to which Homer replied: ” Homer Simpson, Smiling politely”. Best line ever! 😀

  4. A really delightful looking pie Franck. The imagery of the big freeze is (are) great also. Stay well wrapped up, it’s going to be fun over the next few days.

  5. Totally snowed in by that beast from the east, no chance to even get into the village to buy ingredients for this recipe (well, wouldn’t have had water for doing the dishes afterwards anyway).
    Was dug out and saved by friends, don’t ask what was on the menu

  6. ahw, it shouldn’t…..
    have a good st.patrick’s day!
    btw, must find and try them cheeses somewhere around oldcastle over the summer (my irish half of the year starting soon, bringing gouda with me, of course)

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