I used to hate shepherds pie, cottage pie and based any other mince based pie . The texture of the filling was my first beef with shephard’s pie. Secondly I don’t count any “pie” that is topped with mashed potato and not pastry as a pie. Pastry is the very best thing about a pie so why would you ever leave it off? Recently I’ve been thinking about pies quite often, maybe it’s because I haven’t eaten one in more than a week and that’s illegal in the north. I must be getting withdrawal symptoms. So I just had to make one and I couldn’t be bothered to start making pastry or put pants on to go to the shop. So mash was my only option.
But I just couldn’t do it, the idea of topping the pie with dull mash just didn’t sit right with me. After a quick root through the kitchen cupboards I found a sweet potato and a couple of carrots, so sweet potato and carrot mash it was. That’s a bit more interesting at least.
As it turns out this mash is totally brilliant. Chuck a load of cheddar over it and let it crisp up in the oven and that’s it, you’ll never slag off mash toppings again. I’m not saying that I’ll ever be a total pastry free pie convert, it’s not the end for my short crust love affair. But I would happily eat this more often and I’ll allow this pie a special privilege and call it a pie.
- 1 medium onion (halved and sliced)
- 140g chantenay carrots (halved and sliced)
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 6 sprigs of thyme
- 1 tbsp double concentrate tomato puree
- 150ml red wine
- ½ tsp marmite
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 200g Quorn mince
- 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 100g frozen petit pois
- 50g frozen sweetcorn
- 1 large sweet potato
- 3 medium carrots
- 20g butter
- enough vegetarian cheddar to grate over the top
- Fry the onions and chantenay carrots in the oil until soft. Add a couple of thyme sprigs as the carrots and onions cook. For the last minute or so of the frying add the tomato puree and cook it out a little.
- Add the marmite, wine, Quorn, 150ml water, tinned tomatoes, half of the thyme sprigs leaves and sprinkle in the stock cube. Simmer for about 15 mins or until a bit thicker. Season to taste.
- Chuck in the frozen vegetables and simmer for about 40 mins until the sauce is really thick. Pour the mixture into an oven proof dish. Remember to fish out the thyme sprig before the next step.
- Cut the sweet potato and carrot into large chunks and boil for about 20 mins or untill tender. Then drain, put in a mixing bowl, add the butter, a splash of milk, season with salt and pepper then mash.
- Smooth the mash on top of the pie filling then cover in the remaining thyme leaves and as much grated cheese as you'd like.
- Cook at 200°C for 30 mins until golden and bubbly.