Comforting cottage pie

Preparation Time 20 Minutes Total Cooking Time 1 hr 30 Minutes Serves 4
I have never been a fan of meat cottage or shepherds pie, even though it has been the family’s favourite for years. It is probably the reason I have dragged my heels putting it on the blog. I have experimented with different vegan versions, especially those that contain green lentils. For me, they just didn’t hit the spot. I decided to go back to basics and use a vegan and for me gluten-free frozen meat substitute. Quorn is out for me as it is either vegan or gluten-free, never both. I used Asdas own. I played around with flavourings for the gravy and used half veggie stock and half vegan dark beer. This one works really well. Daura Damm Marzen dark beer from Asda. beer Along with that came the herbs, mustard, miso and marmite. The end result was a filling that was.
  • Rich
  • Packed with flavour
  • Thick
  • Delicious
For the mash topping, I didn’t want just plain potatoes. The idea of root vegetable mash appealed to me. If you do not like my choice you could try others such as celeriac or swede to pair with the potato. I have said that you can finely chop the mushrooms, I prefer mine blitzed in a food processor as it provides a much thicker filling and combines well with the plant based mince. It came out of the oven bubbling and smelling so good. I still didn’t expect to like it but I wolfed it down. It really hit the spot in this cold weather. If you don’t want to make a large one then make 4 individual ones that can be frozen for another day. Ingredients The filling
  • 350g vegan mince, make sure it is gluten-free if needed
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced small
  • 1 white onion diced small
  • 2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • 2 medium carrots diced small
  • Half a leek thinly sliced
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped or blitzed in a food processor
  • 1  vegan/ gluten-free stock cube
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp marmite
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste (optional)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp tbsp of vegan/gluten-free gravy granules
  • 600ml hot water or 300ml hot water and 300ml vegan dark beer
  • Black pepper
  • 50g frozen peas
The creamy Root Vegetable mash
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 850g of peeled potatoes cut into rough chunks, such as King Edwards or Maris Pipers
  • 2 tbsp of nutritional yeast or parmesan ( if vegan make sure the parmesan is, such as Violifes
  • Salt &pepper
  • 50g vegan cheese (optional) I used Vitalite cheese
  • 50g dairy-free butter plus a few knobs of butter for the top
  • 80-120ml of dairy-free milk
  1. Make sure all the vegetables are chopped before you start, to make sure they all go into the pan at the same time. Also preheat the oven at 180C
  2. In a large saucepan add 1 tbsp of oil or light spray and heat up. Once hot add all the vegetables and turn the heat down to low. Saute the vegetable for around 10 minutes until they start to soften.
  3. Once that is done, then add the mince and stir into the vegetables and brown slightly.
  4. Add the herbs and pepper
  5. Add the miso paste, mustard and marmite to the hot stock and pour into the pan. If using the beer pour this in too.
  6. On a high heat stir in the gravy, lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes then add the frozen peas.
  7. Next step is to transfer it into a heatproof casserole dish and place into the oven for 25-30 minutes.
  1. While the filling is in the oven place the potatoes, carrots and parsnip in a pan with water and some salt and cook until they are soft, then drain away the water in a colander.
  2. Place back into the saucepan and add parmesan or nutritional yeast, salt &pepper, a dash of dairy-free milk and knob of butter.
  3. Leave the filling to cool slightly then cover with the mash and score the top with a fork. Sprinkle over the vegan cheese if using and dot with a few knobs of butter place into the oven at 180C for 20 minutes. Next, switch off the oven and turn on the grill to crisp up the top and turn it golden brown. Five minutes should be plenty of time to give you a cottage pie that is
  • Hearty
  • Comforting
  • Packed with nutritious vegetables
  • Rich and dark
This keeps in the fridge covered for a few days after. It also freezes so well 20200126_1539172979364420959725120.jpg If you are not gluten-free then you could use one of the plant-based fresh mince that is now on sale such as Naked Glory or Naturli the process is just the same. If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my facebook page I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

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