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Mince and onion pie recipe

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
Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper
One sheet of vegan puff pastry (shortcrust would be fine instead)
Non-dairy milk.

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.

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  1. Looks delicious! I love warm comforting food...

  2. Yeah, my family's from the east end and I also remember a lot of mince. Except my mum didn't even put it in the pie, it'd just be there oozing all over the plate next to a pile of mash and peas. Then when I went to Uni my Nan parting gift was a whole bunch of tins of mince. I never used them and learnt how to cook for myself rather than face the horror of god-knows-what inside the tin. Actually, come to think of it, I'm sure that was partly what started me down the veg road..

    1. That made me chuckle with empathy - I remember being packed off with lots of weird and wonderful tins. I distinctly remember fish in a can - pilchards or something? And yes, I wouldn't be surprised if that's what inspired the first steps towards veg*nism!

  3. I am very interested in English food and all these minces and boiled greens. Glad you found a way to make it work for you and still sound delicious!

  4. Yum! That is totally not the kind of thing I grew up on, but it looks really homey and comforting! I wish my parents boiled greens, cheesy broccoli or peas were the closest I got to green food at a meal! For realz though, this looks awesome. :)

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