As a keen foodie,I love finding about ingredients and the origins of meals. I spend time with my trusty old faithful Google and a collection of cook books reading up on recipes.
Food History is rather fascinating once you realise where the dishes we love originated from and why they were made. YES History is not only about wars and voyages of discovery. Dishes have evolved over time as people travelled and settled in various parts of the world. Due to the lack of authentic ingredients from their homeland, new dishes had to be created using local ingredients. A typical example of this is the popular Chinese Chow Mein dish which actually originated from America by the immigrant Chinese community using locally sourced ingredients.
This proves that not only do we take our memories ,culture and religion with us where ever we go but our Food History too. There is no occasion in life where food is not included. During special occasions special dishes are made and that way tradition and culture are passed down onto younger generations.
For years there has been confusion between what is a Cottage Pie vs Sheperd’s Pie. These both dishes are British in origin but each with a unique twist. Pies were generally made with leftover Sunday Roasted meat and Vegetables and was seen as a way to extend the Sunday meal.
Typically a Cottage Pie is made from minced beef and topped with mashed potato while the Sheperd’s Pie is made from Lamb and mashed potato. Different cultures around the world make dishes like these using local ingredients like the Greeks who make Moussaka and South Africans who make Bobotie.
Why make these pies ?
- Great way to use leftovers.
- Extends meals.
- Economical meal.
- Comfort food.
During my fast of Purtassi ,I took over making family meals and menu planning. I was very keen to make a Cottage Pie /Sheperd’s Pie. I knew that I would need to subsitute the meat with an alternative protein, I opted for soya mince. The dish turned out amazing so today on #meatfreemonday I share my recipe with you.
200g dried soya mince
500g frozen mix vegetables
200g grated cheese
1 teaspoon ginger garlic
2 Tablespoons Tomato sauce /ketchup
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons masala or your favourite spices
500ml boiling hot water
salt and pepper to taste
- Pre soak your dried soya mince with the boiling hot water. The dried mince will absorb the water very quickly you can add another 100ml if need be. To this mix add your ginger abd garlic, tomato sauce and masala/spices. Mix well and leave aside as long as possible to marinate so that flavours infuse into your mince. I actually ended up freezing the mix for a week. This mix can be used to make a spaghetti bolangaise.
- Peel, slice and boil potato for topping. I use the microwave as it is time and energy saving.( 10minutes)
- In a saucepan ,fry the onions in the oil as it starts turning golden brown add the mince meat mix and allow to cook for 15minutes. Transfer into a dish to cool down.
- In the same saucepan used to cook the soya mince , stir fry the mix vegetables for 10 minutes.
- Mash the potato adding milk ,butter and salt and pepper. There must be no lumps in your mash. Allow mash to cool and just before topping over the mince mix in the grated cheese.
- Transfer the mince meat and veg mix into an oven proof dish.
- Top with cheesey mash and bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve with a salad.
- Use sliced potato instead of mash as a topping.
- Include grated carrot into the mash adds colour ,texture and more nutrition.
- Sweet potato can be used for the mash.
- A mix of soya mix with either lentils or chickpeas can be made.
- Mushrooms can be used.