Chestnut Cottage Pie is not in fact a pie at all and free from pastry thus a good gluten free dish suitable for everyone. Once you have softened the chestnuts - either soaked overnight or boiled them for an hour this doesn't take long at all. The chestnuts should be soft and melt in the mouth having taken on the flavours of the stew their sweetness perfectly complemented by the rosemary.
Author: Sandra Butler
Serves: 6 servings
200 g (7 oz) tinned or frozen chestnuts
½ litre (1 pint) vegetable stock
5 organic potatoes (good for mashing), scrubbed and chopped.
1 sweet potato, scrubbed and chopped
6 tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
125 g (4 oz) chopped cauliflower
125 g (4 oz) frozen peas
1 green pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and chopped
1 small courgette, chopped (zucchini)
6 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped dates
1 tablespoon yeast extract (technically MSG, may substitute some salt)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon black strap molasses
1 teaspoon carob powder
1 heaped tablespoon corn flour
1 dessert spoon tomato puree
2 dessert spoons orange juice
125 ml (4 fl oz) apple sweetened fortified soya milk
125 ml (4 fl oz) rapeseed oil (canola)
1 tablespoon of lime Juice ( lime)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder.
1 dessert spoon of mustard
1 garlic clove, chopped
sea salt and black pepper
In a medium saucepan boil the chestnuts for 20 mins in the stock.
In a large saucepan boil the potatoes (including sweet potato) until soft – about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile pull the bottom leaves off the sprigs of rosemary and finely chop.
Sauté the rosemary and the remaining vegetables, chopped dates and yeast extract with the olive oil and tomatoes. Add this to the chestnuts and their juice ( which should by now be mostly soaked up by the chestnuts) and simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes.
Heat the soya milk and blend it together with the oil with a hand blender (not a whisk). Whilst still blending add the lime juice to emulsify the oil and milk.
Drain the potatoes and mash them with 3 tablespoons of the soya milk mixture, the parsley and some salt and pepper.
Blend the remaining soya milk mixture with mustard, bouillon mix, and the garlic clove.
In a mug mix together the balsamic vinegar, black strap molasses, carob powder, corn flour, tomato puree, and orange juice to make a paste and add to the chestnuts and vegetables whilst stirring on a low heat until the sauce thickens.
Into 6 x 12 cm (4 _ – 5 inch) Pots divide the vegetable mix, then a layer of mashed potato, then top with the cheesy sauce.
Finish off in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes until the topping goes bubbly and golden.
Alternatively make 6 stacks of the potato coated with the sauce and grill them for 10 minutes to serve separately with the hot stew.
To serve: Serve in the pots with a crisp green salad. Garnish by poking a sprig of trimmed rosemary into each pot.