Meat Free Cottage Pie

Meat Free Cottage Pie – made with Quorn

I’m not generally an advocate of replicating meat recipes by using soya or Quorn substitutes but this meat free cottage pie made with Quorn Mince and topped with delicious Dijon mustard mash is so delicious I thought I’d share it.

My husband absolutely loves my meat free cottage pie which he likes with lashings and lashings of homemade onion gravy. I honestly think he would drink it if he could, and much to my amusement he mops up the remnants with bread at the end of his meal; something that my parents would have gone mad at me for doing but I don’t believe in snobbery especially where food is concerned and if he likes do that, then its ok by me.

Batch Cook for the Freezer

One 350g pack of chilled [not frozen] makes enough for four or five very hungry people by the time the veggies and topping have been added. In our case being only the two of us I go for batch cooking and use two packets of ‘mince’ to make enough filling for five meals. I then make one finished Cottage pie and freeze the rest of the filling into handy sized portions ready to defrost and add fresh potato topping at the time of serving. I find this is the best way to do it as in my opinion potato takes on a strange taste when frozen, it also seems to defrost at a different rate to the base and the gravy seeps into it, which I personally don’t like. Freezing this way also gives you the opportunity to ring the changes with the topping, adding different ingredients such as cheese, mustard, horseradish etc. or mixing up the potato with parsnip or sweet potato.

We are a meatfree household and when we have guests that aren’t veg or vegan they eat what we eat or don’t dine with us. Having this recipe to hand keeps everyone happy as I’ve served it to many a meat eater and been complimented on it. One of my daughter’s boyfriends went back for seconds and even thirds!

Hope you make it and if you do I’d love to hear of any alterations or additions you make to it.

Meat Free ‘Quorn’ Cottage Pie

Delcious and easy to make, meat free cottage pie made with Quorn mince and topped with Dijon mustard mash. Great for making in advance or freezing
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Keyword: Comfort Food, Cottage Pie, Meat Free, Quorn Recipe, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 350g Pack of Quorn Mince
  • 1 Med Onion diced
  • 1 Stick Celery sliced lengthways and chopped
  • 1 Large Carrot diced
  • 2 tsp Tomato Puree
  • Splash of Dark Soy Sauce
  • Splash of Gravy Browning
  • 1 tsp Marigold Vegetable Bouillon or any other stock cube
  • 2 tbsp Cornflour mixed with a little cold water
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas

Topping

  • 400 g Potatoes Peeled and cut into smallish pieces
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Butter to taste

Instructions

Filling

  • Heat a little oil in a large pan and gently sweat the onions and celery until they start to become soft and translucent.
  • Now add the Quorn mince and stir well adding a few splashes of soy sauce as you do so to add some extra flavour and colour to the mince. 
  • Add 2 tsp tomato puree and keep stirring, making sure it doesn’t catch. Its important to cook out the tomato puree so you aren’t left with any bitter or raw flavour. 
  • Add the carrots and the bouillon or stock cube and enough water to just cover the ingredients in the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the carrots are cooked. 
  • After about 20-30 minutes bring back to the boil and thicken the mixture with 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with a little water and add a few drops of gravy browning until you reach a colour you like. 
    Add the Frozen Peas and set aside to cool. Adding them frozen at this point ensures they keep their colour and still have a little texture when cooked.

Topping

  • Cook the prepared potatoes until soft to the point of falling apart. I prefer to use a steam but you can boil if you prefer.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, run them through a potato ricer or mash until really smooth. 
    Add 2 tsp Dijon Mustard and mix really well, seasoning as you go. I like to add lots of freshly milled black pepper. 
    Set aside to cool

Assembly

  • Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas Mark 5
  • Make sure both elements are cool before putting together to prevent the filling from seeping up into the potato. This will give you a lovely definition between the two when you serve it. 
  • Put the filling in your favourite oven to table dish or if making a serving for 2 as I do, use half and freeze the other half.
    Now layer the mashed potato on top of the filling, either forking it on as I’ve done or piping it if you feel like going fancy, making sure you don’t press down too much as you do so. 
    Meat Free Cottage Pie
  • Cook in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until piping hot, turning the oven to grill at the end if the top isn’t crispy enough. 
    Meat Free Cottage Pie

Notes

Vivaldi is a particularly good potato as its naturally buttery [often called the dieters potato] and you won’t need to use any butter or spread. But if the mix looks too dry and you’re not worried about the extra calories you can add a little butter when mashing. I always serve with loads of onion gravy which counters this anyway and is far less calorific.
Try ringing the changes by adding horseradish or cheese instead of mustard.

Freezing

I never freeze in plastic containers even if they claim to be BPA free as there is a tendency for anything acidic to eat into the plastic and discolour it, and from what I’ve been reading many of the alternatives to BPA are just as bad as the product they are replacing. I opt instead for Lock & Lock style containers which are now readily available in Borosilicate glass which is essentially a derivative of Pyrex and oven to table proof, and although they still have plastic lids, as long as you don’t overfill the dish you can keep your food away from the plastic.

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