I haven’t shared a new recipe in almost a month, which is most unlike me. Despite lockdown and all this *gestures wildly at the whole world*, I have had quite a hectic few weeks. I’ve been lucky to have 2 family weddings in the last week. It has been such a joy to have time away from home and nice things to celebrate. Between starting a night course and also a diploma, I’m not really inclined to whip out the laptop again to type a blog post. Thankfully I’ve been off work this week so have had a chance to breathe and type up this post.
This recipe for Vegetable Bake with Mash came to me while I was making a lasagne. I was cooking the white sauce and thought how nice it would be with veg in it. I like to double up recipes when possible and try to get 2 meals out of one cooking session. So that’s what I did here, I doubled the white sauce while making the lasagne and prepped the veg sauce in advance. I also made extra mash so that I can make Potato Cakes from the leftover mash. We are all cooking so much these days that anything that can save time is a winner in my book!
I was tempted to make this with pastry and call it a pie but I wanted the comfort of mash. I suppose you could still call it a pie but I didn’t want to get into the argument of it having to be fully encased in pastry to be called a pie.
Useful tips & links:
- This recipe makes one large dish but I separated it into 2 smaller pie dishes.
- This dish can be prepared in advance. Assemble to the point of topping with the mash and store in the fridge until you are ready to bake in the oven. You can also double wrap it in clingflim and then in foil before freezing it.
- Go with whatever veg you would like to use for the filling. I’ve used carrots broccoli and peas but you can use cauliflower, squash or sweet potato.
- I add a little cheese for flavour but it is not a cheesy sauce. If you do want to make the sauce more cheesy have a look at my Cauliflower Cheese recipe.
- Us per usual, I don’t really make mash to a recipe. I basically mash the spuds and keep seasoning and adding butter until it tastes right. I have however included a guide below.
- If you don’t fancy making this with mash, it would be great with a puff pastry topping like my Rustic Chicken Mushroom and Leek Pie. Allow the filling to cool before you put the pastry on top.
- For more pie inspiration have a look at Nessa’s gorgeous Christmas Creamy Leftover Pie.
Vegetable Bake with Mash
Makes 4-6 as a main, more as a side dish
For the sauce:
- 50g of butter
- 35g of plain flour
- 500ml of full fat milk
- 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 125ml of creme fraiche
- 50g of grated cheddar
For the veg:
- Sunflower oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 medium carrots, approx 350g
- 1 head of broccoli, approx 500g
- 100g of frozen peas
- 50g of spinach
For the mash:
- 800g of potatoes, approx. 6 potatoes
- 100g of butter
- 75ml of creme fraiche
- Salt and pepper
- Heat some oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan and gently fry the onion until it is soft. Remove the onion and set aside for later. Melt the butter into the leftover oil to start the white sauce. When the butter has melted add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time so that it doesn’t get lumpy.
- Stir in the mustard and gradually add the milk whisking constantly so that the sauce thickens . When it comes close to boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring to prevent lumps from forming. Taste the sauce to make sure the flour has cooked out completely. Add the creme fraiche, cheese and grate in a little nutmeg. When the cheese has melted taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- While the white sauce is cooking, prep the veg by peeling and dicing the carrots and cutting the broccoli into little florets. Boil the carrots until they start to soften, then add the broccoli and then the peas and cook until there is still just a little bite in them.
- Stir the veg into the white sauce and add the spinach and the already cooked onions. Pour the sauce into a pie dish and set aside to cool.
- To make the mash topping, peel and chop the potatoes and steam them with a little salt until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 6 and place the veg filling in a suitable pie dish.
- When the potatoes are cooked mash them with the butter and creme fraiche until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Spoon the mash on top of the veg filling in small blobs. If you want to be really fancy you can pipe it on. Smooth the mash to make an even layer and run a fork through it to make little ridges, these will crisp up in the oven to give you a more crunchy topping.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling underneath. Take it out of the oven and allow it to stand for 5 minutes before serving.