Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie + a Virtual Saint Patrick’s Day party

This Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie is an extremely warm and comforting entree.  This unique take on shepherd’s pie captures the essence of the classic version minus the meat.  The charred broccoli is bursting with flavor and it adds to the overall savory essence of the dish.  The lentils provide protein and deliver a heartiness facet while the mashed potatoes deliver the comforting component.

3U9A7650 It will be Saint Patrick’s Day in 7 days.  Do you have your holiday meal planned out?

 My friend Lynn, over at “The Road To Honey” recently invited me to participate in a Virtual Saint Patrick’s Day party.  The idea behind the virtual party is to have a group of bloggers to each individually prepare their favorite Irish-inspired recipe to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day and post the recipe to their individual blogs at the same time.  Just imagine a party with all of these delicious dishes at your very own Saint Paddy’s day celebration!  There are cocktails, appetizers, main dishes and desserts.

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie I am always amazed by the food blogging community.  Everyone is so sweet and supportive of each other.  Although we all live in different parts of the globe, it is inspiring that we can get together to create virtual parties like this one.

Come join us if you are pondering on what to make for Saint Paddy’s Day.  We’ve got you covered!

Each of the participating blogger’s recipes is available on their individual blogs.  Click on the links below to check out all the amazing recipes.   We will also be on Instagram with our personal hashtag #saintpatricksdayfeast2017

Cocktails
Beyond Mere Sustenance -St. Patrick’s Lemon Cucumber Martini With Fresh Basil
No Spoon Necessary -Sour Apple Tequila Cocktail – The Lucky Shamrock
Appetizers/sides
The Road to Honey – Guinness Irish Stew Mini Pot Pies
What Should I Make For…– Traditional Irish Soda Bread with Orange Butter
Kevin is cooking – Colcannon Irish Mashed Potatoes
Entrees
The Beach House Kitchen -Bangers and Mash with Guinness Onion Gravy
Seasons & Suppers  Irish Spice Bag
Girl Heart Food – Shepherd’s Pie
Salt & Lavender – Pork Chops with an Irish Whiskey Sauce
Dessert
Salted Plains -Vegan Mint Chocolate Bark
The Sweet Nerd – Get Charmed By Double Spice Chocolate Cookies
The Busy Spatula – Lucky Charms Churros & Real Pistachio Pudding
Beer Girl Cooks – Raspberry Chocolate Milk Porter Pudding Shooters
Sugarhero – Bailey’s Chocolate Caramel Tarts
Meg is Well – Boozy Irish Coffee Milkshake with Baileys Caramel Drizzle
Ciao Chow Bambina – Chocolate Stout No-Churn Ice Cream with Homemade Toffee Crumble
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Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie This dish is fantastic with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or a Pinto Gris.

Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd’s Pie Recipe:

Approx. 1 1/2 hours to prep and cook + 20 to 25 minutes to bake

6 – 8 servings

 Caramelized Onion
  • 2 Small White or Yellow Onions – thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Filtered Water
  • 2 Tablespoons +1/3 Cup Dry White Wine – divided (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried
  • 1 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Teaspoons Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 1/3 Cup Tomato Sauce –  I used strained tomato sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Filtered Water
Lentils
  • 1 Cup Dried Black Lentils
  • 4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Vegetable Bouillon Cube – unsalted
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
Charred Broccoli
  • 2 Large Heads Broccoli  – 8 Cups – roughly chopped – (charring the broccoli literally halves in size)
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Mashed Potatoes
  • 2 Pounds Russet Potatoes – peeled – cut into small cubes
  • 2/3 Cups Milk
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 1/4 Teaspoons Pink Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt – or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Instructions:
Onions

Slice the onions in half, cut the ends off and remove skin and slice into thin half circles.

In a large sauté pan, add onion and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stir after about 8 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water, deglaze the golden crust (fond) by scraping it with a wooden spoon and cook for 5 more minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon wine, thyme, garlic and salt then deglaze (scrape up the fond) and cook for 5 more minutes.
 Add another tablespoon of wine, scrape the fond off the pan and set the pan aside.  (A total of 20 minutes.)
Lentils

 Sort lentils to make sure there are no rocks then rinse and drain.

Add the lentils, bouillon and salt to a medium pot.  Cover with 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low and simmer.

Cook until just tender approx. 15 minutes.  You don’t want them too soft because they will continue to cook in the oven.  

Check them at 15 minutes.  They should be cooked but still firm.  Strain and set aside. 

While the lentils are cooking, start the broccoli.
Charred Broccoli
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together the broccoli, oil, salt, and pepper.
Spread out on the baking sheet and place on middle rack.
Roast for 20 – 25 minutes or until broccoli is as charred as you like it.  While the broccoli is cooking you can start the potatoes.
Mashed Potatoes
Start by peeling and then cutting potatoes into cubes, place potato cubes in a large pot and cover with filtered water.
Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes or until very tender.  Use a timer and check at 15 minutes.  Drain the potatoes and add back to the pot along with the butter.  Mash well.  When the butter is melted, add the milk, salt and pepper.  Mix until fluffy.  While the potatoes are cooking you can start the assembly process below.
Assemble
Preheat oven to 400
Add the butter to the onions and when melted stir in the arrowroot powder, add the wine and mash in the bouillon.  
Next, add the tomato sauce, thyme, salt and lentils.  Stir everything together. 
Spread the lentil/onion mix on the bottom of a 3-quart casserole dish then top with the broccoli.
Evenly spread the mashed potatoes on top of the broccoli and smooth it out as best you can.
Place on the middle rack and bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until slightly golden.
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Black Lentil Charred Broccoli Shepherd's Pie Health benefits:

Broccoli has a cholesterol-lowering ability and strong impact on our body’s detoxification system.  It is also rich in both forms of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble.  It is very high in vitamin C & K.

Lentils have extremely high levels of soluble fiber and a good amount of insoluble fiber.  They have cholesterol-lowering fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels giving you a steady stream of energy.  A half-cup provides about a third of the daily requirements.  Not only is the fiber good for your heart, the amount of folate and magnesium is very beneficial for cardiovascular health.  Lentils provide a steady stream of glucose to your brain.  Glucose is a sugar and a key source of energy for the cells in the body and it is the only fuel your brain can use.  The high fiber regulates the release of the glucose, providing a steady stream of fuel that powers your brain cells, and is a key component in keeping your brain healthy.  Lentils are loaded with an impressive amount of blood-fortifying iron and when paired with food containing vitamin C, the iron is enhanced, which in turn increase your energy.  They are truly a nutritional fountain of youth.  Lentils originated in Southwestern Asia along the Indus River have been eaten for over 8000 years.