Sunday, 20 September 2015

Vegan MoFo day 20 - Veganize an old family recipe

Now then. My Mum never really taught me how to cook, other than helping out with prepping vegetables. I think her Mum was a good cook, but she lived a couple of hundred miles away in North Wales so I couldn't just pop over to visit when I felt like it. My mum was a single mum to four kids and in full-time education for most of my childhood (and working full time after that) so didn't have a lot of time to fanny about in the kitchen. My teen years I lived off microwave meals and frozen pizza.
As a young kid though (before I went vegetarian at 10 or 11), I seem to remember a lot of minced beef stuff like bolognese and cottage pie.
So I decided to make cottage pie like my mum use to make, except with no ground up cow in it.

I first fried some diced onion in a saucepan, added some salt, vegetable stock, 2 cups of soaked green lentils, a diced red pointed pepper, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), some fresh oregano, tomato purée, and the magic ingredient - onion gravy powder.
I find onion gravy powder gives a good meaty quality to the mince, which is kind of what you want. My mum used to put beef oxo cubes in her cottage pie and I think this is a good replacement.
Anyway, the lentil mince mixture simmers away for twenty minutes or so whilst you boil some chopped, peeled potatoes.
When the potatoes are done. Mash them with a generous heap of vegan margarine and a splash of soy milk. Pour the mince mixture in to a dish then top with the mash. Run a fork over it so it goes a bit crispy when you bake it in the oven (about half an hour gas mark 5).
It was bloody lush!


  1. I'm going to try this! Peas and Cottage pie on a pretty plate - what's not to love. - Melanie

  2. Cottage pie, lovely. Perfect for this time of year and I like the tip about the gravy powder.

  3. I'm sure many would frown upon instant gravy powder but quite a few of the 'meaty' ones are vegan and they're great for adding a meaty quality to stews and pies :)