Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
8 servings

Yukon gold potatoes, mushrooms, soy sauce, and tomato paste boost umami taste in this hearty winter entrée. If time is a concern, use store-bought, refrigerated mashed potatoes for the topping. A light drizzle of white truffle oil over the finished dish provides an irresistible aroma.

How to Make It

Step 1

To prepare topping, place potato and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Cook 20 minutes or until very tender; drain. Return potato to pan. Add buttermilk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, nutmeg, and red pepper to potato; mash with a potato masher until smooth. Set aside.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°.

Step 3

To prepare filling, combine lentils, 4 cups 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.

Step 4

Combine 1/2 cup vegetable broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Set flour mixture aside.

Step 5

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and mushrooms; cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 2 cups broth. Add sherry, soy sauce, tomato paste, thyme, and lentils to mushroom mixture. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir in flour mixture, and cook until mixture thickens (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk.

Step 6

Spoon lentil mixture into a 2-quart casserole; top with potato mixture, spreading evenly. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until potatoes are golden. Drizzle truffle oil over potatoes. Garnish with chopped chives, if desired.

Ratings & Reviews

Weekend dish

June 12, 2017
This recipe turned out delicious, but was very time-consuming, so I would only make it on a weekend. I followed stimply's suggestion of cooking the lentils with the vegetables and I think it helped to make it all very flavorful. I used dried thyme in the same amount as the recipe called for fresh thyme. Since dried is more intense, I essentially used more thyme and I think it worked fine.

BuffysMom's Review

January 11, 2010
Delicious! My husband who normally eats like a bird, whent back for a second mountain. real comfort food! Differences: I used a 4qt corningware, cooked the veggies longer/hotter because I had no need for the flour, I added extra fresh thyme, pinch of salt, and less than a pound of browned lean ground beef (but you hardly notice it over all the other flavor and aroma). The potatoes I used were leftover baked potatoes I added buttermilk and spices to. I definately recomend this dish and will make it again and again. I served it with steamed green beans. yum!

evenstar7's Review

December 12, 2009
Love this recipe! The truffle oil is a fantastic finish...brings together the whole umami experience. I will be adding this to my winter recipe repertoire.

stimply's Review

January 02, 2013
This was yummy but I completely went 'off script' in making it. After I cooked the veggies, I added the uncooked lentils to that, about 3/4 of the total amount of liquid (all stock, no water) and simmered until lentils were tender. That simmering was about 35 minutes. This way I used one less pot and the lentils were able to get the flavor from all the good veggies. Then added the flour slurry. I recommend adding more thyme. Next time I make it, I plan on adding Worcestershire sauce to the stew part. Oh, I couldn't resist - I added some butter to the potatoes. :)

Saecca's Review

December 31, 2009
My substitution: I used instant mashed potatoes and just added the pepper, nutmeg, & red pepper (Saves a bunch of time for the weeknight). I followed the directions for the filling exactly, except the truffle oil. It is a shepherd's pie type deal, but not as good. The mushrooms and the gravy are tasty and unique. This meal was good, not exceptional.

lizzie924's Review

November 19, 2012

cindyzimmerman's Review

May 03, 2011

paperclippy's Review

January 03, 2010
The flavor was good, but this is not worth the effort. I used a two quart dish as specified (11x7), and had to take out about a cup of the filling, and it overflowed anyway. The filling was too liquidy so when I put the potatoes on top they just sank and made it overflow.

EllenDeller's Review

November 28, 2009
This is wonderful, so savory and delicious! My only changes were to make half the recipe, use an organic beef broth instead of vegetable and cornstarch (50% of the amount designated for flour) instead of flour. Oh, and I added a clove of garlic. Not wanting to buy truffle oil, I drizzled a teaspoon of roasted walnut oil on top in its place. I also added a more generous pinch of red pepper to the mashed potatoes. The flavors are really great! Served with steamed zucchini and the fennel-orange-pomegranate salad from the same issue of the magazine.

ekmorganok's Review

January 07, 2010
This tasted OK once all was said and done, but it required much assembly and several pots and pans, and didn't come together easily. A two-quart casserole, as suggested in the recipe, was much too small; it really requires a three-quart. Also--and most disappointing--the potatoes did not sit atop the filling nicely, but sank right in when I put them on the dish, so it ended up being kind of like lentil-and-mushroom stew with potato blobs in it. I simmered the filling "until thickened," as the recipe suggested, but this didn't prevent the potatoes from sinking. Again, it tasted OK once all was said and done, but was so expensive and labor-intensive that the disappointing results were really frustrating.