Winter seems to have come early in Brisbane. So it’s time for winter casseroles to warm these bones. I love topping casseroles with creamy mashed potatoes or sliced potato. It just gives a casserole another yummy layer and a bit more heartiness. I prefer to use Dutch cream potatoes, as they mash well and soften well when cooked. These two casseroles are easy to put together but need a bit more time to prepare the ingredients before baking.
Great Bean Casserole with Sliced Potato Topping
(vegan, gluten free, nut free)
Ingredients for Casserole:
1 cup great northern beans, soak for 8 hours or overnight or 2.5-3 cups cooked beans
1 medium brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon sweet hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 cups vegan chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup unsweetened soy milk or plant milk
3 tablespoons arrowroot flour
Ingredients for Potato Topping:
4 medium potatoes, peeled
black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1. First place the soaked beans in 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes or until tender. While the beans are cooking skim the foam of the top of the water. Once the beans are cooked drain the water and leave to the side to cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
3. Place the potatoes in a medium pot with water and a pinch of sea salt. Bring the water to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes. Afterwards drain the potatoes and leave to cool down.
4. Take a large oven safe skillet and heat the olive oil on medium heat. Then add onions and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
5. Add the carrots and celery. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
6. Add the white wine, tomatoes, hungarian paprika, mixed herbs and half teaspoon of sea salt. Stir through and allow the wine to absorb into the vegetables. This should take about 5 minutes.
7. Add stock, milk and great northern beans. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes. While its cooking add the arrowroot flour and stir frequently while it thickens up.
8. In the meantime slice the potatoes into rounds and leave to the side.
9. Take the skillet off the heat and top with the sliced potatoes. Start from the outside and then work your way in.
10. Drizzle the potatoes with olive oil and season with sea salt, black pepper and thyme leaves.
11. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Then turn the oven to grill/broiler and brown the tops of the potatoes for 5 minutes before serving. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
Cottage pie with Borlotti beans and Porcini mushrooms
(vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)
8 potatoes (for mashing), chopped
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, diced
4 spring onions, chopped (optional),
3 tomatoes, whole
1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms (soak in 1 cup filtered water)
2 teaspoons dry vegetable stock
2 small carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves (fresh/dry)
1 teaspoon corn flour mixed with 1/2 cup filtered water
1 tin borlotti beans (BPA free tin or 1.5 cup cooked beans)
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup unsweetened plant milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 80 degrees.
2. Place potatoes in water and bring to a boil. I used about 1 litre filtered water to cook them in. Allow them to cook until you put a fork through them.
3. Bring another pot to the boil, then drop the tomatoes in whole. Leave for about 30 seconds, or until the skin begins to peel back. Then immediately remove and drop into cold water. Then peel and chop.
4. Heat an oven proof skillet (or regular skillet) with olive oil. Then add onion, garlic and spring onion. Sauté until the onion starts to brown.
5. Add the porcini mushrooms and the water they were soaking in, tomatoes, carrot and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then leave to simmer for about 10 minutes or until the carrots start to soften.
6. While the skillet is simmering add corn flour mixed with some water. If your potatoes are ready, add a couple of taplespoons of the starchy water that potatoes were cooking in. Add the borlotti beans and stir through.
7. Prepare the mash potatoes: drain some of the water from the potatoes if it is too watery and mash potatoes with potato masher or a fork. Then stir through 1/2 cup plant milk, sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast. Leave to the side until your ready to assemble the pie.
8. If you are using an oven proof skillet then simply top the vegetables with mash potatoes. If you are using a regular skillet, then place the vegetables in an over proof dish and then top with mash potatoes.
9. Bake cottage pie for 20 minutes or longer to get a crispier top.