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A slice of veggie heaven! Red dragon pie

A slice of veggie heaven! Red dragon pie

You won’t miss the meat at all in all these hearty and flavoursome dishes, in our second extract from the new vegetarian cookbook by Prue Leith and her chef niece Peta…

This red dragon pie, with dried red adzuki beans, is a vegetarian version of a shepherd's pie that can be served with your choice of vegetables

This red dragon pie, with dried red adzuki beans, is a vegetarian version of a shepherd’s pie that can be served with your choice of vegetables

Red dragon pie is something my mother always made when I was a child – it was like a vegetarian version of shepherd’s pie, and it was really comforting when we came home from school. 

When I worked at The Ivy we put it onto the vegetarian menu, topped with goat’s cheese mash (as here), which proved really popular.

Serves 4 

  • 200g (7oz) dried red adzuki beans (from some larger supermarkets or online), soaked overnight in cold water, then drained 
  • 1 sprig of thyme 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 brown onion, diced 
  • 1 carrot, diced 
  • 2 celery sticks, diced 
  • A pinch of dried chilli flakes 
  • 1 large red pepper, deseeded and diced 
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 
  • 1tbsp tomato purée 
  • 1tbsp dark soy sauce 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • A good bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped 
  • 650g (1lb 7oz) Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks 
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter 
  • 80g (3oz) soft goat’s cheese 
  • Lightly cooked buttered vegetables or a side salad, to serve

Put the beans in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add the thyme and bay leaf, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans are tender. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stalk.

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, carrot, celery and chilli flakes and sauté until the onion has started to soften. 

Then add the pepper and garlic, and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes, until everything is softened.

Make it vegan

Simply mash the potatoes with good-quality olive oil instead of the butter and goat’s cheese. 

Measure out 300ml of the bean cooking liquid (you can discard the rest) and add the tomato purée and soy sauce to it. 

Add the cooked beans to the pan with the vegetables, then pour the bean liquid in. 

Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until reduced a little and thickened. 

Season well with salt and black pepper, then add the chopped parsley. Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish (about 30cm x 20cm and 10cm deep).

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the potatoes in a large pan, cover with water, add ½tsp of salt and bring to the boil. 

Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, then drain and mash them with the butter and goat’s cheese. 

Season with salt and black pepper, then spread the mash evenly over the top of the bean mixture.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, by which point the top should be starting to brown and the centre should be piping hot. 

Remove from the oven and serve with vegetables or salad.

Extracted from The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith & Peta Leith, published by Bluebird on 20 February, £25. © Prue Leith and Peta Leith. To order a copy for £17.99 go to mailshop.co.uk or call 01603 648155. P&P free. Offer valid until 31 March, 2020 

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