Now this is my own version of the general cottage pie recipe, so it might not suit the hardcore traditional Brit food lovers but it goes down pretty well in our home, and it’s a great warming dish for chillier, darker evenings.
I use Quorn instead of tofu or just vegetables for veggie cottage pie as this is a dish that definitely needs to be filling as it was traditionally a meal that was meant to be warming, frugal and heavy enough to keep poorer families nourished during the long hard winters.
I also make mine quite tomatoey – so it’s a little more like bolognese but still thick enough to feel pie-like underneath the potato.
This meal is a good balance of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates and fat – and will certainly fill you up. But lean enough with the Quorn to not take hours and hours to digest.
- 12 small potatoes
- 3/4 of a bag of frozen Quorn mince
- Carrots (usually but I didn’t put any carrots in last night’s) – you can really put any veg in there that you like
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Mixed herbs
- A squirt of tomato ketchup or tomato puree
- 1 tin of tomatoes
- A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- A little butter
- A little milk (I used almond milk)
- A little mustard
- Grated cheese (I used a mixture of Parmesan and mature cheddar)
- Olive oil
- Spinkle of flour (I use rice flour)
I tend to start boiling the peeled potatoes at the same time as I start cooking the mince & ting as they can be ready at the same time usually if you boil them on a medium heat.
After chopping the onion and crushing the garlic, I heat a good tablespoon of olive oil in a reasonably large pan. Start frying the onion and garlic then add the mince shortly after. It will hiss a little in the pan as this Quorn cooks well straight from frozen. I add my peas and stir till it’s all defrosted and starts to soften and brown.
I then add my herbs, Worcestershire sauce, other veg and tin of tomatoes. Keep stirring then add the tomato ketchup and the flour, stir well then turn the heat down and pop the lid on to simmer.
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees.
When the potatoes are ready, drain the water, add the butter, milk and mustard and mash them all. Then add part of the cheese. Stir well.
The mince should be rich, thick and smelling delicious by now and the oven should be up to temperature so time to season it with salt and pepper if you wish, then pour the mince sauce into a medium sized oven dish. Spread it out evenly.
Spoon the cheesy mash on top of the mince and spread it out so that it covers it all and is even. Pop it in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Then switch it to grill, remove the pie, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top then put the pie under the grill for a further 10-12 minutes.
Serve with a green salad or green beans. I have mine with a drizzle of sweet chilli sauce, it really compliments all the flavours. And a glass of Rioja. It goes beautifully with a little red.
A good winter warmer dish that should feed a family of four (we dine on it for 2 days, the 2 of us).
Note:If you’re reheating leftovers in the microwave, take care because Quorn tends to *pop* (explode) in the microwave, I find.