Thursday, 9 October 2008

"Vegetarian" Shepherd's Pie

Why is this "vegetarian" and not vegetarian? Well, it uses Quorn which is not meat admittedly, but it is certainly not a vegetable and it is designed to taste like meat. In fact, I once went for a job interview at the company that makes Quorn (I didn't get the job by the way), and it is grown from some fungus. The management at Quorn took a wise decision to not call it "Fungal protein" but instead, the far tastier sounding "mycoprotein" which means protein grown from fungus.

I have probably put you off eating quorn now as well. Anyway, if you want to be a vegetarian why eat meat tasting substitutes? That was my point! Well, we ate it because it is low in fat compared to beef! It does taste different to meat, but its a good enough substitute for me. I think you can get chicken breast shapes, chicken nuggets and so on as well.


  • Low fat cooking spray
  • 2 leeks, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots - peeled and chopped
  • 1 can sweet corn (200 g)
  • 500 g passata
  • 300 g Quorn mince (frozen or fresh)
  • 2 teaspoons Marmite (or other yeast extract)
  • 200 g baked beans (half a tin)
  • 600 g potatoes peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 300 g parsnips peeled and sliced thickly
  • Salt and pepper
  • Nob of butter
  • Splash of milk

The potatoes I used were from my future father-in-laws allotment and were desiree. They have a dark red skin, and score a 5 on the waxy/floury scale - I just discovered this scale today at this website - so I will try and drop it into conversation whenever I can. That will sure make for some exciting chats.

Anyway, this one caught my eye, as it had a red colouring right the way through. You can just make it out in the picture below, although it is somewhat disappointing compared to what it looked like in real life.

Right, anyway, put the peeled and chopped potatoes and parsnips into a pan of boiling water and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until soft and ready for mashing. Now, add the butter, a splash of milk and salt and pepper and mash until nice and smooth.

Meanwhile, heat a large pan with a lid, and spray with low fat cooking spray. Add the leek and onions and stir fry for about 5 minutes.

Now add all the other ingredients - quorn, passata, sweet corn, baked beans. You will need a bit more liquid, so get the passata container and rinse it out with about 200 ml of water and tip that into the pan.

Bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 10 minutes with a lid on.

This is where things started to go a bit wrong for me. I realised that not only did I have too much filling for one dish to be able to top with mash, I also had too much filling for two dishes of shepherd's pie filling topped with mash.

It was a somehwat tricky operation to balance the mash on top of the filling, but it worked out ok (as long as you are not too into presentation).

I put cheese on one half (my half, since the missus is on a diet) and then under a hot grill for 5 minutes or so, until it just starts to brown, and if you are lucky enough to put cheese on the top, the cheese will start to bubble.

That's it! Pretty tasty actually, despite my complaining about Quorn earlier!

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1 comment:

Syed Wajid said...

Delicious Recipes
Awesome effort
Keep up the good work
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