The ultimate comfort food. Yummy vegan mince sauce gets combined with potatoes & a creamy, dreamy cheezy topping.
In a large pan gently saute the onion, garlic, red peppers and aubergine.
Add in the re-hydrated soya mince and stir to coat. Now add the tinned tomatoes.
Add all the other ingredients and stir. Simmer until the soy crumbles are soft and the flavours softly blended together. Around 10 minutes
Slice the potatoes and put in a single layer on an oven proof dish.
Bake in a moderate oven (200c/Gas Mark 6) for around 15 minutes, until they are soft & slightly golden. Remove from the oven once done and keep aside.
Gently pan fry the mushrooms in the oil. Season with the thyme and salt to taste. Keep aside until ready to use
Make sure the cashew nuts are completely soaked. They plump up when soaked and shouldn't have a hard core when you break them in half. (NB: if you can find broken cashews, they are often cheaper & soak faster!)
Add the cashews to a blender with a little of their soaking water and starting on a low speed, blitz until smooth. Gradually increase the speed of the blender once the mix becomes smoother
Add the tofu and blitz again. You want a heavy creamy texture.
Add the miso & nutritional yeast & blitz again. Taste and add more of either until the flavour is slightly cheezy and creamy.
In an oven proof casserole, spoon half the 'mince' in a thick layer, then add a layer of potato & one of mushrooms.
Repeat with the remaining mince, potato and mushrooms.
Splodge (technical word!) the cashew 'Bechamel' over the top and smooth in a thick layer.
Add some breadcrumbs to the top if you want a little extra crunch on top. Not authentic, but very yummy!
Put the dish in a moderate oven- Gas Mark 6/ 200C for around 25minutes, until it is golden on top and heated through.
Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes. This will make it easier to cut. It's traditional to eat it at room temperature, usually as part of a big mezze feast, but I like it hot, just out of the oven, just as much!