We made a shepherdless pie.*
It took a while to convince Eleanor that this counted as a pie, and admittedly it doesn't fulfil my stated pie criteria, but it must be a pie: the word is right there in the name.
Besides, what kind of idiot has pie criteria?
This is a bit of an anything goes recipe as it's a using-up-the-leftovers kind of meal, feel free to deviate in any way possible.
Some sort of mince, or some lentils (soaked and prepared), or a lot of chopped vegetables.
A carrot or so
Celery if you really must
Potatoes, or potatoes and parsnips, or potatoes and swede, enough to cover your dish when mashed.
Butter and milk, or creme fraiche
Worcester sauce or Henderson's relish
A mug of vegetable stock, or some other stock, or stock and red wine.
Mushrooms roughly halved
A tin of kidney beans** drained and rinsed
Pretty much any green vegetable
Cheese to sprinkle on top
Herbs to cook the pie filling with
Peel whatever needs peeling
Put the potatoes/potatoes and other stuff into a pan of boiling water and boil for about twenty minutes.
Stick the onion, carrot, and celery if you're some sort of celery loving weirdo into another pan with a little oil and cook until soft
Add the mince/lentils/pile of vegetables to the onion mixture and cook the mince till it's browned, if you don't have any mince just keep going.
Pour in the stock, add any optional bits you want.
Throw in a dash of worcester sauce or Henderson's relish.
Cook it till it looks done.
Drain the potatoes dollop on the creme fraiche or milk and butter*** and mash the heck out of them (adult bystanders may wish to don a macintosh for this step).
Pour the filling into an oven dish, dump the potatoes on top, add cheese if you think it needs it.
Put it into the oven at some reasonably hot temperature, give it about twenty minutes and take it out again.
Try not to burn your tongue.
*Ok, shepherd's pie is lamb, cottage pie is beef, if you only have vegetables it's woolton pie****, fake-meat pie is either shepherdless or garden pie but since I reserve garden pie for the lentil version this was a shepherdless pie.
**This strikes me as peculiar but Richard likes it.
***You can't dollop milk.
But you know what I mean.
****We'll save that one for the inevitable World War Two project.