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Mary McCartney's modern shepherd pie

Her Mum was one of the most famous names in the culinary world and her Dad is a Beatle!

Mary McCartney is here to showcase her modern shepherd’s pie taken from her new cookery series.

This veggie spin on the classic is made using beans and lentils, infused with herbs and a little chilli heat, in a smooth gravy sauce, topped with fluffy sea salt and olive oil mashed potatoes.

Modern shepherd's pie

Serves 6-8


2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 leek, trimmed, rinsed and finely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

100g green beans, trimmed and chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

400g canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

250g pouch cooked black lentils, rinsed and drained

1 tsp dried mixed herbs

1/2 tsp chili flakes

3 cups vegetable stock (made using 1 tbsp bouillon powder)

2 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp water

1 tbsp Tamari (could use soy sauce)

1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (no anchovies)

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Olive oil mashed potatoes

1.2 kg Yukon Gold or Maris Piper potatoes

Flaky sea salt

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup unsweetened plant-based milk

1 small bunch parsley (about 2 tbsp, finely chopped)


1. Preheat the oven to 200C degrees.

2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the chopped leek, carrots, green beans and celery and sauté for about 2 minutes until slightly softened. 

3. Stir in the kidney beans, lentils, dried herbs and chilli flakes.

4. Pour over the stock and stir in the cornstarch slurry, followed by the tamari, Worcestershire and rosemary sprig.

5. Lower the heat to medium low. Bring to a gentle simmer for around 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprig.

6. For the mashed potatoes: Peel and cut the potatoes into even pieces, so they cook at the same time. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add 1 pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until they are fork tender, around 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the size.

7. Drain in a colander, then return back to the saucepan. Mash really well

8. Drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, black pepper and 1 pinch of sea salt. Stir in the unsweetened plant-based milk and use a fork to mix and fluff it up, getting rid of any lumps at the same time. Finally, stir in the parsley.

9. Spoon the bean mixture into a large baking dish, approximately 12-by-8 inches (2 quarts). Spoon the mash on top and use a fork to even it out.

10. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on top and bubbling.

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