This is the sort of food that reminds me of being a kid: something cheap and cheerful with some sort of pastry involved.
Oh yeah, my formative years were a maelstrom of mince. Turkey mince, beef mince, pork mince - you name it, it was minced and used to keep me and my brother chewing while we watched Battle of the Planets.
My parents are Cockneys, born not long after the end of the war, and the preponderance of mince is probably a direct legacy of that, when anything exciting was scarce - dinner more often than not meant cheap meat and cheap homegrown veggies, dressed up as best you could. You know, the sort of food that the recession and gastropubs have made fashionable once again.
Obviously (and thankfully) it's been a long time since I've eaten minced meat, but occasionally I yearn for the warm nostalgic glow that eating soy mince drowning in gravy can provide. Here's what I cooked up - mince and onion tart, inspired by the solitary sheet of pastry which had been in my freezer so long it had started getting its post redirected there.
For the full Cockney effect, serve with overcooked greens and boiled spuds. And gravy. Lots of gravy.
Mince and onion tart recipe
Makes one small tart
One large white onion, finely chopped
Three cloves of garlic
100g of shiitake mushrooms
250g Linda McCartney mince
1 tablespoon of flour
150g of stout
100g of stock
2 teaspoons of vegan gravy granules
1 tablespoon of tomato ketchup
2 teaspoons of dried thyme
1 teaspoon of soy sauce
salt and pepper
One sheet of vegan puff pastry (shortcrust would be fine instead)
How you do it
Sweat the chopped onion in oil until beginning to brown, then add the garlic and shiitake mushrooms and continue to fry til soft.
Add in the tablespoon of flour and give the whole lot a good stir.
Then add in the stout, stock, tomato ketchup, thyme, gravy, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce and leave to cook off for a few minutes. Add some salt and pepper.
While that's going, preheat your oven to 220C and make sure your vegan puff pastry (yeah, Jus Rol again for me) is defrosted.
Pile your mince mix into a tart tin, then top with a sheet of puff pastry and trim to fit.
Brush with non-dairy milk and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pastry is browned.