Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
This pastel is originally made in Argentina with ground beef, but I tried making it vegetarian and I liked it better than with meat! It's very easy too! Cumin is what it gives it the flavor.
For the lentils
- 1 cup dried lentils (half a small bag)
- vegetable oil or canola oil, to saute
- 2⁄3 cup chopped onion
- 2 green onions, chopped (or a little more onion to make it simpler)
- 1⁄2 cup chopped red pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
For the mashed potatoes
- 5 -6 medium potatoes
- 1 egg
- butter (as much as you like)
- parmesan cheese (as much as you like)
- some milk
- salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°RF.
- For the lentils: Boil the lentils in water and salt until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Sauté chopped onions in the oil for about 3 minutes, and add the chopped red pepper for about 5 more minutes, add salt and pepper. Add the lentils, lower the heat (lentils are already cooked).
- Season with a lot of cumin, a little bit of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. You can try them and keep seasoning until you like them.
- For the mashed potatoes: Peel (before or after boiling) and boil the potatoes in water with salt. Once tender, mash with fork. While you mash you can add the butter, the milk, salt, parmesan cheese, pepper and nutmeg. It doesn't have to be neither smooth or hard, something in between, you can control this with the milk. Don't add the egg until the end so you can try it and season as you like. Once mashed and once you love it and can't stop eating it, add the egg and mix well.
- Use a baking dish or casserole dish (I used a glass Pyrex), spray it with nonstick spray, and add one thin layer of the mashed potatoes, less than half an inch tall. Spread it evenly. Add the lentils on top of it, spread them, and add the rest of the mashed potatoes on top of the lentils. Draw lines with a fork on top of the mashed potatoes, these will brown and be crispy.
- Bake pastel for 20-30 minutes, until the lines of the fork turn a little golden.
- Let it stand or a few minutes before enjoying.
I never thought lentils and mashed potatoes would go together, but was I wrong! This is some tasty stuff. I did cook the lentils with some minced carrot and celery and instead of draining the lentils I cooked the water out. This is just how I prefer my lentils, a little mushy. Otherwise followed recipe. It was so good. What was surprising to me was that the flavor was so meaty, almost like good stew or cottage pie. It's also versatile. I think I'll be messing with the flavors next time. This has officially made it into my regular rotation. Thank you for posting.