Monday, April 30, 2012

Meatless Monday - Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Now I don't want to stir up any trouble but it seems there has always been a bit of confusion about the difference between cottage pie and shepherd's pie. To me, a shepherd's pie is a savoury mince mixture topped with mashed potato. A cottage pie on the other hand has a pastry shell topped with savoury mince and mashed potato. See? Worlds apart.

I have always loved cottage pies and they were my first choice at the school canteen back in the day.

If you're on a low-carb diet you will definitely want to skip this one!

Food.Baby's Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Shortcrust Pastry
265g plain flour
125g chilled butter, diced
1 egg yolk
2 tbs iced water

To the bowl of a food processor add the flour and butter. Using the dough blade (the plastic one) pulse until the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of the water and pulse again until it combines. The mix will start to clump and pull away from the sides. Stop immediately and turn the dough out onto a floured board. Press roughly together and put into the fridge to rest for at least 15 minutes.

Roll out the dough to about a pencil thickness, enough to cover the base and sides of a 25cm pan. Press into the pie dish and use a knife to trim away the excess. Patch any holes with the scraps. Place into the freezer for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating to 190 degrees Celsius.

Bake for 15 minutes. Don't worry if it shrinks a little as there should still be enough space for your fillings.

Or skip all this and use bought shortcrust pastry.

Savoury Mince Filling
1 x 300g packet Quorn veggie mince
1 can lentils, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can water
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 vegetable stock cube
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
2 tbs oil

Over medium-high heat, fry the onion and garlic in the oil until softened. Add the veggie mince and lentils and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a fast simmer and cook for around 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a pie-filling-like consistency.

Mashed Potato Topping
1kg potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped roughly
50g cheese
20g butter
Milk or hot water

Place the chopped potatoes in a large pot of cold water. Cover and bring to the boil. Once boiling cook for approx 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain and tip back into the saucepan. Add the butter and a splash of milk and mash until smooth. Season to taste.

To assemble
Pour your mince filling into the prepared pastry shell. Top evenly with mashed potato. Sprinkle top with grated cheese and bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbling.

Serve with a green salad and plenty of tomato sauce!

Serves 6.

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