There’s nothing more marvellously Wintery than orange root vegetable mash; butter is all it needs.It has been icy here in the mornings – the type of morning you wish you had a wood fire to light, one you could put your old coffee pot on top of and have it bubbling away in no time. One you could heat the soup on and dry the clothes in front of.
But the Wintery mash is all I have. Why not jazz it up with lentils and top with a warming shallot stew!
This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s Plenty More. Although we’ve cooked enough Ottolenghi to feel free to channel him when we adjust ingredients to suit our tastes, style and pantry, this recipe is pretty much the same as the one that appears in the Guardian.
Root Mash with Wine-Braised Shallots
80g puy, beluga or horsegram lentils
0.5 celeriac, peeled, about 300g after peeling, cut into chunks
2 carrots, about 300g, peeled and cut into chunks
0.5 butternut or jap pumpkin, about 300g, or other type of pumpkin/squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 sweet potatoes, about 600g, peeled and cut into chunks
70g butter, diced
2 Tblspn maple syrup (I use some date syrup/molasses if I don’t have maple syrup – it darkens the mash, so through some chopped herbs through the mash)
1½ tspn ground cumin
sea salt and black pepper
for the shallots
2 Tblspn olive oil
600g shallots, peeled
400ml red wine or sometimes I use a rosé
200ml vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 tspn whole black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tblspn caster sugar
Put the oil and shallots in a heavy pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes until well coloured. Add the wine, stock, bay, peppercorns, thyme, sugar and a generous amount of salt, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the lid, raise the heat and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, or you are left with 1-2cm of sauce.
Meanwhile, simmer the lentils in plenty of water until tender (about 25 minutes), drain and set aside.
Half fill a medium pan with water, bring to the boil, add the celeriac and carrot and, after 10 minutes, the pumpkin and sweet potato. The veg should be just immersed. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes more, or until done.
Drain the veg, shaking off as much liquid as possible, and pass twice through a potato ricer and into a bowl (or mash very very well). Mix in the butter, syrup, cumin and cooked lentils, season to taste, and keep warm. Remove the shallots from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm. If necessary, reduce the sauce until there’s 150ml left, stir in the butter and season.
To serve, top the mash with shallots and pour sauce over the top.