Friday, 15 May 2020

Plantain Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie (also known as cottage pie) is traditionally a meat based pie with a mashed potato crust/topping. I was drawn to making a vegan version, and at first considered using sweet potatoes instead of regular white potatoes for the topping. But then I thought that it was only right to put a proper spin on it. It wasn't a long stretch for my brain to travel from sweet potatoes to sweet plantains. (Have you seen how obsessed with plantains I am??) And so this little number was born.

Underneath the layers of delectably soft and crispy sliced plantain is a rich sauce that I loaded with green lentils, mushrooms, carrots, sweetcorn and red onion. There's a healthy kick thanks to the addition of scotch bonnet and the whole thing pays homage to a traditional Nigerian red stew.

I hope you're inspired to try this recipe out for yourself. If you do, please share it online and tag @vegannigerian. It'll put the biggest smile on my face :)

Ingredients
(Serves 8-10)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil
- 1 red onion (chopped)
- 200g chestnut mushrooms (roughly diced)
- 4 large carrots (diced)
- 100g sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 500g cooked green lentils
- 4 stalks green onions (chopped)
- 3 yellow (ripe) plantains

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.

2. Rinse the plantains thoroughly and cut off the tops and tails. Make a shallow slit down one side of each plantain then cut each plantain (with the skin still on) into three large pieces. Place the pieces in a pot of boiling water and allow to simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the plantain softens. Drain and set aside.

3. Place the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, scotch bonnet pepper and garlic cloves in a food blender and mix until smooth.

4. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and add the chopped onions, mushrooms, carrots and sweetcorn. Sauté for about 5 minutes.

5. Add the blended tomato/pepper mix to the saucepan and season with curry powder, thyme and a dash of salt.

6. In a small bowl, mix the cornflour with about 4-5 tablespoons of water to form a runny paste. Add it to the saucepan and stir well to combine. This will help the sauce to thicken.

7. Allow the sauce to simmer on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add the cooked lentils and half of the chopped spring onions. Stir to combine. Transfer the filling to a large oven dish.

































8. The plantain should be cool enough to handle now. Peel each piece and slice each one into thick rounds. Arrange the plantain rounds over the top of the filling to cover the entire oven dish.


9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. The top of the plantain should brown nicely and if not, you can pop it under the grill for 1-2 minutes for a crispier finish.

10. Serve piping hot with the rest of the spring onions sprinkled on top for garnish. Goes great with a fresh side salad and wholewheat bread rolls.
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If you like this recipe, you might also like:
Plantain Mosa
Plantain Flatbread
Plantain and Chickpea Curry
Water Fried Plantain

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