Start 3 cups of water and 1/2 cup lentils to boil over high heat (reduce to a simmer once boiling).
Dice onion, finely chop the raisins, and set both aside.
Cut potatoes in quarters and slice into 1” pieces - cover with 2” water, sprinkle 1 tsp salt, and bring to a boil.
Over medium heat in a large frying pan (with no oil), add the beef and save the rest for another recipe (pasta, tacos, grain bowls, etc). When the beef begins to brown slightly, add the chopped raisins and onions with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and break up the beef into smaller pieces using your spatula.
Reduce heat to medium low. The beef and onions will release enough water and oil to prevent sticking but add a tablespoon or two of potato water if they stick.
When potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, save 1 cup of water from the pot in a jar or measuring cup and drain the potatoes. Add the potatoes and cream cheese back to the pot and stir to melt and mash together. Add egg yolk, 1 tsp granulated garlic and 1 Tbsp parsley. Salt to taste and reserve for later.
Add remaining granulated garlic, thyme, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of potato water to beef mixture. Stir to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
When lentils are mostly soft (about 20-25 minutes), mix them and their water to the beef mixture along with half the bag of frozen vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or until lentils are soft throughout. Salt to taste. If the liquid dries out, add remaining potato water in 1/4 cup portions until entire mixture is covered in a thick sauce. Meanwhile turn on your oven’s broiler to 425 or 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spoon the beef filling into a pie pan or several small pans. Top evenly with mashed potatoes.
Place your pie(s) under the broiler until golden brown (5-8 minutes).
This recipe can move quickly with a few things cooking at once. It’s best to get all your ingredients ready at the start so you don’t lose time.
You could also substitute ground turkey or chicken for the beef or for a vegetarian option, use medium texture tofu chopped into 1/2” squares. You may need to add 2-3 Tbsp of oil if using tofu.
Recipe adapted by Kim Werst from eastsidetable.org