Cottage pie is a classic of British cuisine. I have always known this as Shepherd’s Pie I have learned that cottage pie has a potato mash topping, and Shepherds Pie has a pastry topping, so this is a twist and vegan version of the classic Cottage Pie recipe. For me this is comfort food, and it is perfect to make in advance and put in the oven just before dinner time.
Making this vegan is quite easy, as is keeping all the traditional taste. Most store bought veggie minces are not vegan though so I used a block of seitan which I had in my refrigerator, minced this in the food processor and it worked perfectly well. You could always use rehydrated textured soya or minced tofu as an alternative. Lentils also make for a lovely alternative in this type of dish.
The mash is also a little different in that I have used sweet potato and regular potato. This makes it a little sweeter but sweet potato is quite healthy and surprisingly lower in carbs anyway despite being sweeter. The mash is silky smooth and has a wonderful taste and colour.
Traditionally Cottage pie is cooked in a gravy sauce and then topped with mash. However in this recipe I make it a little different since I base it on my mother’s recipe and she is Spanish so she has always used tomato as a base for the sauce instead. However I promise this tastes wonderfully good and can be great to make for dinner with friends or the family.
For the mash
- 500g sweet potato ( 1 medium)
- 350g potato (1 medium)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt to taste
For the filling
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 stalks of celery
- 200g mushrooms
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 400g tinned tomato
- 150ml white wine
- 300g seitan or veggie mince
- 1.5 tsp yeast extract (Marmite)
- 1 tsp Maggi Jugo seasoning
- Finely dice the onion, carrot, celery, red and green pepper and sweat in a large pan with the olive oil on a medium heat until the onion is translucent.
- Dice the garlic and add to the pan.
- Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan, cook until the mushrooms go soft.
- Add the tinned tomato, white wine, Maggi Jugo seasoning and yeast extract. Bring to a medium simmer
- If you’re using seitan add to a food processor and blend until it is the consistency of mince and add to the pan. If you are using regular veggie mince then add this directly.
- Cook for another 15 minutes or so, until all the flavours have blended and the sauce has reduced somewhat.
- In the meantime, peel and dice the sweet potato and potato, add to a pan of water with some salt and bring to a boil.
- Cook until the sweet potato and potato pieces are soft, and drain.
- Add to a bowl, add some olive oil and season with some salt and pepper and mash until smooth
- In a ovenproof dish add the filling and spoon on top the mash into dollops.
- Use a fork to spread out the mash and even it out. Create some ridge patters on the top to make it easier for the top to bake.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. Allow to rest for a few minutes and serve.