Cottage Pie

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Recipes | 2 comments

When I was a kid it was a treat to order lunch from the tuck shop (or canteen). We’d write our orders on a brown paper bag and put our money in exact change inside, and drop it off at the tuck shop in the morning.  At lunch time we would pick up our brown paper bags with our orders inside.  Almost every time I would order some sort of pie: a meat pie, an apple pie that was topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar, or cottage pie.  Cottage pie was my favorite: a shortbread crust filled with meat, veggies and gravy, topped with mashed potatoes and baked to perfection. Yum.  I would use a fork and scoop out the top and filling and then eat the crust!

Cottage Pie!

Cottage Pie!

Today, I’m bringing you a vegan and gluten-free recipe for cottage pie that is every bit as good as the version I loved as a kid. No, actually. This is much, much better! Not only is it absolutely delicious, it’s so much better in every possible way. No animals harmed in its creation and no cholesterol, but still loaded with protein, hearty vegetables and a flavorful gravy. 

Mmmmmm...

Mmmmmm…

One of the keys to this pie is a great crust. I always use my hands to make pie crust now to make sure that I don’t over mix it and that I keep as many nice big buttery chunks as I can.  When the butter melts as it cooks it creates a beautiful flaky crust. When you add the butter, add it in in big chunks at least a tsp at a time, if not bigger – not little slivers – and try to add as little water as possible. 

Oh so good...

Oh so good…

This recipe makes two nice deep 4-inch pies using 4-inch springform cake pans. You could of course make a larger pie, but I find that a 4-inch pie is the perfect size for two. 

Cottage Pie
Serves 4
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Crust
  1. 1 cup gluten free flour mix*
  2. 1/4 cup cornmeal
  3. 1/4 cup + 2 tbsps earth balance buttery sticks
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/2 cup ice cold water
Topping
  1. 1 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled and chopped
  2. 1 small white carrot or parsnip, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  3. 2 tbsps vegan butter or margarine
  4. 1 tbsps vegan milk
  5. Salt and pepper to taste
Filling
  1. 1 cup vegan, gluten-free ground beef (I used Beyond Meat beefy crumbles)
  2. 1/4 onion, diced
  3. 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  4. 2 small or 1 medium tomato, diced
  5. 1 small carrot, sliced
  6. 4 brussel sprouts, sliced
  7. 1/4 cup broccolini, chopped
  8. 1/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  9. 2 bay leaves
  10. 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
  11. 1/4 tsp ground sage
  12. 1/8 tsp of smoked paprika
  13. 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  14. 1 cup vegetable broth
  15. 1 tbsp miso (optional)
  16. 1 tbsp arrowroot powder
  17. 1/2 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
  18. Salt and pepper to taste
  19. Grapeseed oil for sautéing
Crust
  1. Mix flour, salt and baking powder together.
  2. Add chunks of butter about 1 tsp at a time and work the mixture with hands until you get nice large crumbs.
  3. Add ice cold water a little at a time, until it just comes together into a firm dough.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius.
Topping
  1. Add potatoes and carrot or parsnip to a quart of boiling ager with a little salt.
  2. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer and cook until carrots and potatoes are soft (about 10-15 minutes).
  3. Drain and let cool.
  4. Add to a food processor fitted with an s-blade, along with butter, salt and pepper and milk.
  5. Process until smooth. It should not be runny, but it should be smooth enough to pipe!
Filling
  1. Add 1/2 tbsp of grapeseed oil to a heavy-bottomed pan and turn your heat up to medium-high.
  2. When hot, add onion and tomatoes and let cook until tomatoes have broken down and onions are soft.
  3. Add garlic, bay leaf and thyme and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  4. Add carrots and brussel sprouts and sauté for about 2 minutes.
  5. In a second pan, add a little grapeseed oil and, when hot, sauté vegan beefy crumbles until lightly browned.
  6. Add broccolini and peas to the main pan and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Mix broth with miso and arrowroot powder.
  8. Add beefy crumbles to the pan, followed by the broth mixture.
  9. Add smoked paprika and sage and bring the mixture to a boil.
  10. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer until the gravy has thickened and the flavors have combined.
  11. Remove the thyme and bay leaves.
Putting it together
  1. Take out the dough, halve and press into the sides and then bottom of two four-inch springform cake pans. Don't roll it out! You want to work it as little as possible, and while the crust might not end up looking as pretty, it tastes phenomenal.
  2. Spoon in the filling until it's about 3-4 full.
  3. Fill an icing bag with potato and pipe a nice thick layer over the top of the filling (or you could just spoon it on top!)
  4. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit/180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown.
Notes
  1. * I use a gluten-free flour mix comprised of 2 cups bob's red mill all-purpose gluten-free flour, 1/2 cup arrowroot starch and 1 1/2 tsps of xanthan gum.
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
 Now, doesn’t this look phenomenal?

Yes please!

Yes please!

It really is pretty spectacular.  Just the thing for a hearty meal on one of these very cold winter nights. It might seem like quite a bit of work, but let me tell you that it’s worth it! Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. We grew up on ‘Cottage Pie’ but it only had a potato topping, no pastry outside… Your version looks amazing, a whole meal in one pie! Love all the veggies inside too, looks delicious! We tried that Earth Balance butter in the states a few times (even brought back a few tubs in our case) and it’s so buttery – bet it makes great pastry and mashed potato!

    As always, I wish I could eat your photo… It looks so good!

    Another great recipe… Yum!

    X

    • Thanks so much! It really is a complete meal in one. The version I had as a kid definitely didn’t have quite so many veggies. :)

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