Saturday, 19 May 2012

Swede and Parsnip Mini Cottage Pies

This month I'm featuring recipes inspired by Scottish food, quite a challenge for a vegan - but one that I'm very much enjoying! Pies are a bit part of Scottish cuisine. Scotch pies, shepherds pies and cottage pies. All very meaty of course. So, this is my version of a vegan cottage pie. It has big chunks of swede and parsnip (though you could use carrots and turnips as well) mixed into a rich onion and pepper gravy topped with classic mashed potato and baked until crispy on top. It's perfect served with mushy peas. I made mine in mini pies but, of course, you could put it all in a dish and make one big pie as well.

4 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 swedes (or turnips), peeled and chopped
1 kg floury potatoes (such as sebago), peeled and chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Nuttelex (or other non dairy butter or margarine)
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
2 heaped tbsp flour
2 tsp powdered 'beef' stock (I use Massel, because it has no animal content)
2 cups boiling hot water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cracked black pepper

To Make
1. Simmer the swedes for about 35-40 minutes, or until just tender. During the last 15 minutes add in the parsnips, they should cook in much less time.
2. Preheat your grill to 160 degrees.
3. Boil the potatoes until very tender (at least 30 minutes, more is fine). Drain and mash well with salt and nuttelex.
4. Now get all the rest of the ingredients ready and close to hand to make your gravy. In a small saucepan heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Add the flour and stir constantly for a minute or two. Add the stock powder and soy sauce to the boiling water and add about 1-2 tbsp to the flour and onions in the pan. Stir well to make a very thick flour and onion paste.
5. Add the rest of the hot stock in small amounts and stir vigorously as you do so to make sure there are no lumps (this isn't as hard as people think, just don't add too much water at once and make sure the water is still hot).
6. Once you have added all the stock add the black pepper. You should now have a fairly thick but pourable gravy. If it is still too thick to pour then you can add a bit more hot water to thin it out.
7. Drain your swede and parsnip and stir into the gravy. Stir well to coat all the chunks in gravy.
8. Take 8 medium sized ramekins (or alternately just use a square baking dish) and distribute the vegies and gravy evenly amongst them.
9. Top each ramekin with mashed potato and use a fork to score/rough up the surface (this creates more surface area to go crunchy in the oven).
10. Place in the oven/grill for about 15 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.

Serves 8, serve with mushy peas and a sprinkle of salt on top!


  1. Hi,

    I’ve started My Sweet Party, where I every month host a party with a theme (MAY theme is CHOCOLATE). The party is ongoing the entire duration of the month and then I will choose my top three favourites and feture those blogs. I would LOVE you to join My Sweet Party!


  2. So glad I found this. My husband is from Scotland. Since going vegan I've had a hard time making his favorite dishes. Now, if only there was a way to veganize Yorky pudding!