Red Dragon Pie is a childhood favourite of mine. Originally a vegetarian shepherd’s pie, I now make it vegan-friendly with a mustard mash topping…
When I was about eight years old, my Mum phased out red meat believing that it was causing headaches. White meat and fish followed soon after, being replaced by TVP soy protein, Quorn mince and Linda McCartney sausages. Much to the exasperation of my Northern grandparents, my brother and I decided to follow suit by becoming fully-committed vegetarians.
Red Dragon Pie was a periodic feature on our dinner table; a comforting meal resembling shepherd’s pie which is made with Aduki Beans – the Red Dragons of the pie. Production would commence a day ahead of time, with beans and rice being soaked overnight before being boiled for an hour the next day. Only then could preparation begin on the meal itself.
Like a well-trodden path, I unthinkingly followed this routine in my own kitchen until change was forced upon me. Dried Aduki beans suddenly vanished from the supermarkets, being replaced by their ready-cooked canned cousins. For a time, I lamented this loss of convenience but resorted to sourcing dried beans online.
I continued in this vein until a sudden urge and lack of dried beans led me to buy canned beans. To my happy surprise, the resulting meal tasted exactly the same – only the preparation time had been cut down to 40 minutes in total. Such convenience now means that this firm family favourite can appear on the table more often – a change I happily celebrate.
With more and more people following a dairy free diet, I no longer top the mashed potato with grated cheddar cheese. Instead, I make a vegan friendly mustard mash which bakes and bronzes in the oven. Meat eaters and vegans are united over this dish – it is a deliciously quick yet comfortingly familiar meal. It just happens to be dairy free.Print
- 2 x 410g cans of Aduki Beans in water
- 115g Basmati Rice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500ml water
- 2 medium onions
- 450g carrots
- 4tbsp dark soy sauce
- 4tbsp tomato puree
- 2tbsp dried mixed herbs
- 1250G white potatoes
- 2 heaped teaspoons English mustard
- 50g dairy free margarine (I use Flora Buttery)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Finely dice the carrots and onions and fry off in the hot oil. When the vegetables have caramelised, remove the pan from the heat. Add the water and rice to the pan, alongside the aduki beans (including any liquid from the cans.) Stir in the soy sauce, tomato puree, dried mixed herbs, a generous pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Return the pan to the heat and simmer the mix (with the pan lid on) for around 30 minutes. Remember to stir the mix periodically to stop it from sticking to the bottom.
- While the bean mix simmers, peel and quarter 1.25KG of white potatoes. Boil in salted water until they are soft, before mashing with the mustard, margarine, salt and pepper to taste.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
- When the bean mix is ready, pour it into a deep sided oven roasting tin. Splodge the top with the mustard mash potato and smooth to form an even layer. Finally, drag a fork across the top of the potato to resemble a recently ploughed field before placing into the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
- Serve as you would shepherd’s pie and enjoy!
- Category: Vegan, Vegetarian
- Cuisine: British, Vegan
Keywords: vegan food, vegetarian food, vegetarian shepherd’s pie, vegan shepherd’s pie, aduki beans