Potato bake used to be one of my hands-down favourite indulgences! Every birthday I would request a giant lasagne and a cheesy potato bake for my evening dinner (for everyone to share, I swear). Wow, how times have changed....
A traditional potato bake is full of cream, butter and cheese. Ew. You don't need any of that nastiness and the good news is - a vegan one can be just as delicious and creamy without any of the dairy!
Thank you 2015 :)
The key to this bake is, of course, a delicious sauce. The longer you have to nurse it and let the flavours marinate, the better it will be.
Time: 2 hours prep. 30 minutes baking.
5 Potatoes, washed and scrubbed. Skin on.
2 Sweet Potatoes, as above
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp Vegan Butter (Sunflower spread, soy spread, Margarine etc)
2 Tbsp Wholemeal Plain Flour
2 vegetable stock cubes
A full carton of Organic soy milk (Bonsoy for the win)
Salt and Pepper
Nutritional Yeast for the top (optional, but definitely better with!)
Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds for the top
1) Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and put a very large saucepan/pot of water on to boil
2) Place your white potatoes into the boiling water, whole. Cook until they are nearly cooked through, but not overcooked. Under is better than over! (They'll be going into the oven)
3) Slice the Sweet Potatoes into 1/2 inch circles and lay on an oven tray with some salt and rosemary. Cover with foil and place in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until cooked through.
4) In a very large frying pan on medium heat - add vegan butter, diced onion and diced garlic. Sauté until lightly brown. Chuck in a small amount of thyme and rosemary at this stage to get the flavour in early!
5) Add 2 tablespoons of wholemeal flour and stir until combined. This will make a thick, almost paste-like mixture.
6) Make your vegetable stock by combining stock cubes with 1/2 a pint of boiling water. Add this to your onion mixture and stir. It will still be very thick.
7) Lower the heat and gradually add soy milk, stirring carefully and gradually. You can use as much soy milk as you like depending on how large your oven-tray is. I opted for a medium-sized tray and used nearly an entire carton. (But there was some leftover sauce)
8) Once all soy milk is added and your sauce is on a very low heat, add some dried thyme, dried rosemary, salt and pepper. Be gentle with the pepper, but generous with the others, I would say.
9) Have a taste test after ten minutes or so and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
10) By this point, hopefully your Sweet Potato slices will be out of the oven and your large potatoes are cooked. When the white potatoes are cool enough to slice (they don't have to be cold, just cool) you can assemble your bake!
11) Slice up all the Potatoes very carefully into 1/2 inch slices again.
12) Lay one row of potato slices, top with a large spoonful of sauce
13) Lay a row of Sweet Potato on top and another large spoonful of sauce, covering each potato with oozes of flavour :)
14) Continue then with white potato slices and sauce until dish is full.
15) When you cannot layer enough potatoes/sweet potato (I got four layers) spoon as much sauce as you can on top, filling the dish.
16) Finish off with a sprinkling of Nutritional Yeast, Sunflower seeds, Pumpkin seeds, more Thyme and more Rosemary
17) Place in the oven for approximately half an hour, or until ready to serve.