Homemade vegetarian mince in a rich gravy with lots of veggies – perfect served with creamy mashed potato!
This kind of meal is just perfect for this time of year. When it’s cold outside, what could be better than coming home to a bowlful of creamy mashed potato, topped with rich, thick gravy? The homemade vegetarian mince makes this the perfect comforting winter meal.
What is savoury mince?
If you’ve never had savoury mince before, hopefully you’ll be able to figure out what it is from the name. It’s savoury. And it’s made with mince.
It’s usually made with minced meat (ground meat), cooked up in a rich gravy with plenty of veggies, and served with something comforting like mashed potato. Obviously my version is vegetarian, but the end result is much the same – a bowlful of hearty goodness that will warm you up from the inside out.
Homemade vegetarian mince
First, you need to whizz up the homemade vegetarian mince. It’s the same idea as the veggie mince I used in my chilli cheese fries the other day – just beans, walnuts and mushrooms blitzed in a blender to give a mince-like texture. Now that I’ve used this method a few times, I’m kind of obsessed with it – expect to see this idea used again and again (I’m nothing if not imaginative)!
Once you’ve whizzed it all up, it needs to be cooked in a pan for a while – for this savoury mince, I also added some onion, garlic and carrot.
Next, it’s time to get a bit saucy – time to make gravy!
I really tried to think of a way to make this vegetarian savoury mince without using gravy granules, since I know some of you are in parts of the world where they’re not readily available. But the truth is, absolutely nothing beats Bisto gravy granules when you want a rich, thick brown gravy. We Brits are raised on this stuff, and nothing else comes close.
If you can’t buy Bisto in the shops where you live, you can always get it online (Amazon US*).
(by the way this isn’t a sponsored post! I just really flipping love Bisto)
What vegetables can I add to my savoury mince?
I kept things simple – carrots, peas, and sweetcorn. Classic veggies that I ate almost every day as a kid.
If you want, you can add whatever other veggies you have in the fridge – peppers, leek, parsnip, green beans, etc. You can either add them to the pan while you’re sautéing the onions, or if you want them to be a bit more hidden, blitz them right in with the mince (I added a raw pepper to the food processor when I made the vegetarian mince for my chilli cheese fries, and you could barely notice it in the final dish!).
Other ways to serve savoury mince
If you feel like a change, there are plenty of other ways you can serve your vegetarian savoury mince. Here are just a few ideas:
– spread the mashed potato over the top and bake it for an awesome vegan shepherd’s pie
– serve it with rice or spaghetti noodles
– pop a pastry lid over the top to make a veggie ‘meat’ pie
– spoon it over a jacket potato
– encase it in pastry to make little vegetarian Cornish pasties
– spoon it over hot buttered toast
– serve it in Yorkshire puddings for Sunday lunch
Let me know if you have any other ideas, I’d love to hear them! Otherwise, stick with a classic – hot vegetarian savoury mince with extra buttery mashed potato. Delish.
Vegetarian savoury mince
- 400 g tin black beans, drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 50 g (~ 1/2 cup) walnut halves
- 5 medium mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 250 ml (~ 1 cup) hot vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp tomato puree / paste
- 2 tbsp gravy granules
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- Black pepper
- 100 g (~ 1/2 cup) sweetcorn
- 100 g (~ 1/2 cup) frozen peas
- Mashed potato, to serve (optional)
- Add the black beans, walnuts and mushrooms to a food processor, and blitz briefly to give a coarse mince-like texture. Don't allow the mixture to become completely smooth - you may need to scrape down the sides a couple of times to help it blitz evenly.
- Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan, and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the bean mince, and cook for a few more minutes, stirring regularly, until the mixture is soft and dark in colour.
- Add the hot vegetable stock, tomato puree, gravy granules, dried thyme, and plenty of black pepper. Mix thoroughly to combine, until the gravy granules have completely dissolved - they will thicken up the liquid. Bring to a gentle simmer, and allow to cook for a further 10 minutes or so, until the carrot is soft.
- Add the sweetcorn and frozen peas, and mix to combine. Cook for a few more minutes until the peas are hot. If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a dash more water - if too thin, add a few more gravy granules.
- Serve hot with mashed potato, if desired.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/3 of the recipe, not including sides.
If you love recipes that use traditional British ingredients, try my lentil and mushroom stew, made with Branston pickle!
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