This is a great option for batch cooking for the week ahead, or a hearty weekend dinner. I’m not really sure whether to call it Shepherd’s or Cottage pie – as it’s neither – it’s meat alternative pie but that definitely doesn’t have the same ring lol!
This is really easy to make and if you’re busy you can speed it up even more by using bags of frozen veg. Waitrose/Ocado do a bag of mixed onion, celery and carrots (‘soffritto mix’) and a great bag of frozen mixed grilled veg (onion, aubergine, courgette and pepper) which work brilliantly. Don’t be afraid of using the frozen veg – often they’re actually higher in nutrients than fresh as they’re frozen immediately rather than sitting in warehouses for months. I’m very much a believer in making eating healthily as easy as possible so this is a really easy option.
Even if you’re not vegetarian I’d definitely suggest you try this – it’s a lot lighter in calories and just as tasty. And if you’re worried the family may not want a meat substitute I’d suggest trying it and not telling them – I bet they don’t notice! Loads of my clients have found that their other halves and children haven’t even realised it’s not meat (though obviously you could use turkey or beef mince if you wanted to).
The base is my veggie chili recipe – so it makes a large batch of the mince (8-10 servings) so you can make some of it into Shepherd’s pie and some of it can be used for bolognese/chili etc. Or just make extra pie!
If you’re making the shepherd’s pie it comes in at around 374 cals per serving!
You will need:
1000g of Quorn mince (or ‘meet the alternative’ or any other meat substitute)
1500g Pasatta or chopped tomatoes
Either – 1 bag of soffritto mix OR 1 large onion, 2 sticks of celery and 1- 2 large carrots all finely chopped
Other mixed veg – pepper, courgette, aubergine, mushroom (your choice, or 1 bag of the frozen veg)
3 vegetable stock cubes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Mixed herbs
Dash of Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian brand if necessary)
Spoonful of marmite (optional)
Salt and pepper
For the potato topping – I made small pies so just used 2-3 medium potatoes per pie but you can adjust the quantity as you like.
A little butter/spread, and skimmed milk is also needed.
Heat a little oil in a large pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for a few mins. Then add any other veg you’re using.
Add the mincemeat and mix well and let it heat through (if using turkey, beef etc then ensure the meat browns at this point). Add the stock cubes and mix well. Heat for a few mins.
Stir in the passata and then add all the spices, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and marmite. Mix well and allow to simmer.
Taste it during this phase and adjust seasoning to taste.
Allow it to simmer for at least 20 mins, if you can let it cook a bit longer do as it helps to give a better flavour.
While it’s cooking peel and chop your potatoes and boil them until soft. Add a little spread and skimmed milk and mash to your desired consistency. I also add some salt and pepper.
Add a good quantity of the mince to a bowl/pie dish and then top with potato.
You can freeze it in portions using takeaway containers etc. I like to them pop it in the oven to crisp the top a little before serving.
If you don’t make all the mince into pies then freeze the rest and have with spaghetti, jacket potato or add a little chili and have it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt!