Friday, 19 November 2010

Vegan Cottage Pie


I'm not sure it's strictly accurate to claim that a disproportionately large number of cottagers are vegan, but I've canvassed a few gay Fulham fans and they're not big meat eaters, contrary to what you might think. Not that I had gay footie fans in mind when I set about this, the latest version of my vegan pie, made with adzuki beans instead of meat with, in this case, pinto beans (although black eye peas may have been a more conventional choice). It's hard to overcook your pinto bean. I boiled 'em for a good half hour before adding the adzukis (both had been soaked overnight).

I cubed and sauteed swede, celeriac and parsnip in my big cast iron pan, putting the off cuts aside for mash. Steamed the root veg. bits with a couple of big white floury potatoes and put 'em through the ricer to make mash. Not got a ricer? Do yourself a favour and get down to Lewis's basement this weekend! Perfect mash every time and no messing. Beat some butter into the mash as it cools and season with S'n'P.

Made a gravy with a finely chopped onion at its base, along with a couple of shallots I found lurking, half a head of garlic that was past its best, plus a whole teaspoonful of my chopped Scotch Bonnets, which was perhaps half a teaspoon too much. I sweated this little lot down with two finely chopped field mushrooms, then added a litre of Marigold bouillon and the end of a tub of Marigold gravy granules. I have to say this product was a disappointment, considering how much it cost (@ Baldwins). I'll be sticking to Bisto vegetable gravy granules in future and never mind the E numbers.

I put the cooked beans into the big cast iron pan with the root cubes and mixed them together, adding the gravy and simmering with the big cast iron lid on for maybe fifteen or perhaps twenty minutes, before turning the heat off . Let it cool a bit before stirring in a dollop of www.miso.co.uk, the Sweet Brown One, that I get from Fare Shares. Then I spread the mash over the top of the mixture in the pan, scoring the top with a fork, and baked it on medium heat, say, 160*

It was pretty good if I say so myself. I made a lot and it's ageing well, the chili kick at the back of the throat having mellowed. I've eaten it hot with red cabbage, cooked in fresh apple 'n' pear juice from a carton, and lukewarm with the sprout salad seen in the picture, above.

* I know this is a snowflake, not a degree sign. Here's why.

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