Now then. My Mum never really taught me how to cook, other than helping out with prepping vegetables. I think her Mum was a good cook, but she lived a couple of hundred miles away in North Wales so I couldn't just pop over to visit when I felt like it. My mum was a single mum to four kids and in full-time education for most of my childhood (and working full time after that) so didn't have a lot of time to fanny about in the kitchen. My teen years I lived off microwave meals and frozen pizza.
As a young kid though (before I went vegetarian at 10 or 11), I seem to remember a lot of minced beef stuff like bolognese and cottage pie.
So I decided to make cottage pie like my mum use to make, except with no ground up cow in it.
I first fried some diced onion in a saucepan, added some salt, vegetable stock, 2 cups of soaked green lentils, a diced red pointed pepper, 2 cloves of garlic (minced), some fresh oregano, tomato purée, and the magic ingredient - onion gravy powder.
I find onion gravy powder gives a good meaty quality to the mince, which is kind of what you want. My mum used to put beef oxo cubes in her cottage pie and I think this is a good replacement.
Anyway, the lentil mince mixture simmers away for twenty minutes or so whilst you boil some chopped, peeled potatoes.
When the potatoes are done. Mash them with a generous heap of vegan margarine and a splash of soy milk. Pour the mince mixture in to a dish then top with the mash. Run a fork over it so it goes a bit crispy when you bake it in the oven (about half an hour gas mark 5).
It was bloody lush!