Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shepherds Pie - Braised wine Lentil variety with onion gravy

WOW. First let me say that yes, you use lots of pans, yes it is a bit busy when you are making it, but man alive. YUM.

1-1/2 cups wine braised lentils (recipe to follow)
2 lbs or so medium potatoes, I used yellow
2 cloves garlic
1 clove garlic minced
1-1/2 cups onion gravy (recipe to follow)
3-4 cups shredded swiss chard
1/2 cup cheese (I used aged white cheddar)

Too cook chard. Heat olive oil in a skillet add chard and minced garlic clove, season with salt and pepper and transfer to  bowl.

To cook the mashed potatoes, cook spuds in just enough water to cover (no more) add two whole cloves of garlic and boil until tender, mash using butter (if you choose) and cooking water (as much as needed)

Assembly of the pie:
Grease a 9" pie pan
layer in the chard mix and lentil
top with mashed spuds and cheese and bake at 350*F for 20-30 minutes, last 5 change it to broil to brown the cheesy topping.

Wine Brasied lentils:
1/2 cup dry lentils, soak in 1/2 cup filtered water with about 1 TBS lemon juice for about 7 hours (this step is not a MUST, but it will aide in digestion and shorten the cooking time)
1/2 TBS olive oil mixed with 1/2 TBS butter
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp thyme
2 TBS red wine

In a small sauce pan, melt butter and oil together, cook onion, carrot and thyme about 5 minutes, add lentils, stir to coat. Add red wine and bring to a lively simmer, add about 1/2 cup water (just enough to cover the whole mixture) cover and simmer 20-40 minutes (depending on if you soaked them)

Salt to taste. Then transfer to the bowl with the chard

Onion Gravy:
3 TBS butter
2 cups onions, thinly sliced into half moons
sprinkle of thyme
1 TBS balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
1 TBS corn starch dissolved in 1 TBS water
pinch of sugar
1 tsp soy sauce
In a deep skillet heat butter, toss onions to coat and cook over medium low, stirring occasionally until jam like, about 25 minutes.
Add balsamic vinegar and cook 5 minutes more
Add the water and bring to a lively simmer for about 10 minutes or until reduced by half, stir in cornstarch. Stir in sugar and salt, and top of with soy sauce. 

YUM, this dish seemed a little crazy at first, but in reality it went pretty darn quickly. To save on a dish you could even cook the chard in the same skillet you'll use for the gravy. Start the lentils, then the onion gravy, then the spuds. The gravy doesn't need to be done until the whole pie is done, so in reality you could start it just before putting the pie into the oven, top each serving with the delectable gravy. WOW so much flavor! My mom joined me for lunch and had some as left overs and LOVED it (yep lentils and all ;) ) So go ahead and try it, I promise you wont be disappointed.

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