Vegetarian Cottage Pie (with a cheesy twist)

I made this recipe the other day and it was yummy, so I thought I’d share it! I can’t take full credit for the recipe as my aunt used to make something similar, which this is based on although I can’t remember it 100%

Vegetarian Cottage Pie with Cheese (serves 4)

-300g Quorn mince
-5 medium sized potatoes
-1 onion
-handful of raisins
-2tsp gravy granules
-1tsp mixed spice

For the cheese sauce:
-25g flour
-25g butter
-250ml milk
-100g mild cheese, grated

You will also need a largeish oven dish.

Start by boiling the potatoes for approx 25 minutes, so they are soft enough to mash easily. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C. Cut the onion into rings and sauté with some olive oil over moderate heat. Add the Quorn mince and mix it all together. Add the gravy granules and mixed spice with a little bit of water, then add the raisins. Stir occasionally and leave it on a moderate heat for about 10 minutes so it is heated through.

Drain the potatoes and mash them until they are smooth. You may want to add a little bit of water or milk to make mashing easier. You want a firm consistency though.

Put your Quorn mince mix into the oven dish so it covers the bottom evenly. Add the mashed potatoes on top to create another even layer. You can use a spatula or wooden spoon to make the top smooth. Put the dish in the oven.

To make the cheese sauce you will need a small saucepan, non-stick ones work very well but it’s not a necessity. Over a low heat melt the butter in the saucepan, once it is melted add the flour and stir everything together. Leave this to simmer for a minute or two, then start adding the milk bit by bit while stirring continuously. Continue until you have added all the milk and you should have a smooth pale yellow sauce. Stir in the cheese bit by bit until it is all melted.

Take the dish out of the oven and pour the cheese sauce on top. Smoothen it with a spatula/wooden spoon so it is an even layer. Return the dish to the oven for approx 15-25 minutes or until the cheese sauce looks golden brown.

Serve with pepper to taste (it shouldn’t need salt due to the cheese & gravy granules, but add whatever floats your boat. Andrew likes to eat it with tomato ketchup which I find rather mind boggling!) and maybe with a side salad.

Note: I am not a vegetarian, so if you want to make sure this is really vegetarian, use vegetarian gravy granules and make sure the cheese you use is vegetarian.

Note 2: Alternatively you could make it specifically NOT vegetarian by replacing the Quorn with real mince meat. In that case you should probably not add water with the gravy granules (as meat tends to hold more moisture than Quorn) and also cook it for longer to make sure it is fully cooked.

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  1. As above named beneficiary of this extra-ordinary recipe, I can personally attest to its culinary worthiness. Despite bringing together ingredients that, for me, have overtones of school dinners, this ‘Dutch’ combination makes a very tasty and nutritious meal. Although I defend the right to ketchup, I do appreciate that some diners may consider this an unnecessary extravagance. Overall rating three Michelin stars ***.

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