Monday, 24 November 2008

Shephards pie which would make a shephard cry

When I was about 15 years old I gave up eating beef due to a load of mildly traumatic beef related incidents which I'll leave for some other day. While I didnt like the taste of beef there were quite a few things I missed like my mothers meatballs, lasagne and shephards pie. Fortunately quorn came along and saved the day. I have made loads of things with quorn and mostly it takes a few minutes before one of my friends/family says something like "wait a minute, since when have you been eating beef again" - so I guess Im not missing out on beef that much after all.

This recipe is dead simple and very cheap to make (the quorn makes it even cheaper) and perfect for a cold winters evening in front of the fire when all you want to do is splodge with the nearest shephard you can find.

Shephards pie ingredients:
  • 5 large potatoes
  • One packet of Quorn mince (350g) or the same of real beef/lamb
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • half a pint of stock or gravy (Im what my friends call a crap vegetarian and used beef stock)
  • 2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard (I found this Dalkey mustard which is made in Dublin 8 in superquinn)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • some milk and butter for mashing the potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 tablespoons of grated hard cheese (mine was a peculiar goats cheese but anything you have will do the job)

Bring a large pot of water to the boil while peeling the potatoes and cutting them in quarters. Boil the potatoes until soft enough to mash.

While the potatoes are boiling chop and fry the onion and garlic in some oil. Add the quorn (you can add straight from the freezer). Add the pint of stock (I find the one in the picture above great as is their gravy and it saves a lot of time making it from scratch), mustard, cinnamon, salt, pepper and tomato puree and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes.

Once the potatoes are soft enough drain and mash, using some milk (only a few tablespoons), a sprinkling of salt and a lump of butter. Be careful with the milk or they will be too soft.

Pour the quorn mix into the bottom of a large pyrex dish (mine is about 11 inches in diameter). Top with the mashed potatoes. While preheating the grill, chop the leeks finely and place over the potato. Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the potato. Place under the grill for about ten minutes until brown (my shephard didnt watch this and it burned a little)

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