Portuguese Mains, Veganised traditional Portuguese dishes

Lentil Empadão

Empadão is basically a Portuguese version of a shepherd’s pie. A layer of mash, a layer of a ‘meaty’ filling and a second layer of mash, oven et voila! I replaced the meat by lentils and veggies and some vegan sausages and I am very happy with this version. Will be making this a few times this winter!

Time: 1h approx

Type: main dish

Difficulty: 2 pans

Serves: about 3/4 people

What you need:

Food:

1 can cooked green lentils

5 white mushrooms

half a red pepper

1 small onion finely chopped

2 tsp garlic granules

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 vegan sausages (I used Linda McCartney) cooked and shredded (optional)

2 tsp paprika

salt to taste

vegan parmesan (optional)

4 big potatoes and 1 big carrot, peeled and chopped into small chunks

1 tbsp vegetable spread

nutmeg and pepper to taste

soya milk (enough to make the mash- depends how runny you like it)

Utensils:

1 big pan for the mash and another one to make the lentil mix

baking tray

food processor

knife, chopping board, fork

potato masher

Directions:

Boil potatoes and carrot for about 20min until tender when pricking with a fork- discard water;

Meanwhile, cook the sausages too;

Cut mushrooms and pepper into small chunks and transfer into a food processor- blend for a few seconds so all the veggies turn into very small pieces (if you don’t have a blender you can use a knife, but it does take a lot longer);

Put onions, bay leaf and a little olive oil into a large frying pan and let it cook for a few minutes in low heat (you can also use a little water instead of olive oil);

Add mushrooms and pepper, garlic granules and paprika, mix and let it cook for 3 minutes;

Add lentils and tomato puree, mixing well; Add salt to taste and let it cook for about 5 minutes- remove from heat when the combined ingredients present little moist;

To make the mash: using a potato masher, puree the potatoes and carrot, adding the vegetable spread, nutmeg, pepper and soya milk- add as much or as little you want to get the preferable consistency (I usuallty put about 1/3 cup of soya milk)- combine well so there’s no lumps;

Spread half of the mash into a baking tray, followed by all the lentil mix and topped with shredded sausages; Finish with remaining mash and a little parmesan (if using). I like to smooth the top layer with a fork, running it over the mash in both directions (see picture)- place in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees and cook for about 15 minutes until golden brown- it’s ready!

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