Cooking Classes


Wild Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie


I have always felt a little Irish in my blood, especially in March. This month the Virtual Supper Club is honouring the most popular celebration in Ireland and everyone in the world who wishes they were Irish. On St. Patrick's Day we all have a little Irish in our veins.


Cottage pie is traditionally made with beef or lamb, however, this mushroom and lentil version leaves you with no meat cravings. It is hearty and satisfying. The heady drizzle of truffle oil brings it into the nouvelle cuisine category. Take it to the table with a boat of mushroom gravy.


March is still a bit nippy 'round the bippy. This comfort food is a perfect casual meal. And a bird never flew on one wing so load up your plate. It's all good for you. 

Check on the rest of the dinner with these bloggers and enjoy Irish comfort food at its best:
Jerry at A Life, Lived starts the meal with an Irish Cheddar Bacon Dip. There is nothing better than a good Irish cheddar. Then add bacon and it can help but be a crowd pleaser.

Sandy from The Whistlestop Cafe brings a sumptuous Potato Kale Soup with Gruyere.

Val from More Than Burnt Toast has chosen a very Irish side dish of buttery mashed potatoes called Green Onion Champ.

Susan is serving Shamrock Meringue Cups for a very Irish looking dessert. Mmmm. Wouldn't this be good with an Irish coffee?


Wild Mushroom and Lentil Cottage Pie

4 servings

2 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
1/2 tablespoon salt, divided 
2/3 cup low-fat buttermilk or whey
1/2 teaspoon piment d'esplette
1/2 cup dried green lentils
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil 
1  cup finely chopped onion 
1/2 cup finely diced carrot 
1/4 cup finely diced celery 
1 ounce wild mushroom blend, such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
1 tablespoon tomato paste 
1/2 tablespoon white truffle oil
Chopped chives (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Rehydrate dried mushroom in a cup of very hot water. Reserve mushroom soaking liquid.

To prepare topping, place potato and one teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook 20 minutes or until very tender and drain. Return potatoes to the pan. Add buttermilk or whey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and piment d'esplette to potatoes. Mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare filling, combine lentils, water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain, and set aside.

Make mushroom gravy in recipe below.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add half of the mushroom gravy. Add sherry, soy sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and lentils to mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

Spoon lentil mixture into a 1-quart casserole. Top with potato mixture, spreading evenly. Bake at 375 F for 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden and lentil mixture is bubbling. Drizzle truffle oil over potatoes. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired. Serve with reserved mushroom gravy.

Mushroom Gravy
2 pounds button and cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/8-inch thick, trimmed 
2 ounces of mixed wild dried mushrooms
reserved mushroom soaking liquid and organic low-sodium canned mushroom or vegetable stock to make 4 cups
6 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 shallots, finely chopped  
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Rehydrate dried mushrooms in one cup of boiling water.
Remove stems from mushrooms. Place stems and stock in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer for 30 minutes. Strain; set aside.
Place 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add shallots, and cook until translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, and cook until mushrooms are soft, browned, and all liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat; set aside.
Combine remaining 3 tablespoons butter and flour in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring until incorporated and browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk in stock; bring to a boil, whisking until thickened. Stir in reserved mushroom mixture and thyme. Serve hot.

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