Hi there, my name is Clare! Like many people my age, I'm starting to grow pretty damn concerned when it comes to the many issues facing mother nature.
I've been wanting to cut down on my meat-consumption for a while because of a whole host of reasons, but I've never really taken that first step.
One of the reasons I'm hesitant about going vegetarian or vegan is because, if I'm being brutally honest, I just think I'm going to miss some of my favourite foods too much. But, I figured it was about time I hung up that excuse and gave it a go.
In order to see if v2 actually does what it claims — looks, cooks and tastes like real meat — I decided to recreate something that all Aussies (myself included) know and love: The classic meat pie.
According to Google, I'd need Worcestershire sauce, an onion, two types of pastry, flour, beef stock cubes, BBQ and tomato sauce (to go inside the pie) and, of course, mince.
Then, disaster struck! When I first got the mince, I had planned to cook it straight away, but alas ~life~ delayed me by a week. Then, when I opened the fridge I realised that the mince had gone out of date! I mean, I still had a pack of v2 I could eat, it was just frozen rock solid in the freezer.
After the "defrost the mince" disaster, we were ready to go. And, I gotta say, v2 did not lie. The mince definitely looked and cooked like meat, which was great, because it made it easier for me to cook!
The recipe I had told me to add in water, tomato and Worcestershire sauce to the mixture, as well as salt and pepper. I also added BBQ sauce because I'm a ~cooking rebel~ like that.
From there, it was relatively simple! Shortcrust pastry on the bottom, filled with mince mixture and puff pastry added on top! I brushed on some egg wash and they were ready to go in the oven.
Also, because I had leftover mince and pastry, I made some on-the-fly sausage rolls, which honestly did not look like your traditional ones. I mean, look at those limp meat roll-ups.
But guys, when I pulled them out of the oven, all the frazzledness and nervous sweating was worth it.
Look at these beautiful babies! Golden on top, with a pastry that you know is just going to crunch deliciously. When I pulled them out of the tray, there was no sticking — these bad boys wanted to be out of the pan and consumed.
But, I know what you came for and I know what question you want answered: "Did they taste like an actual meat pie?"...
...They nearly did. Now, don't get me wrong — they tasted GREAT. Absolutely amazing work done by v2: The texture was right, it looked perfect and the taste was pretty damn close.
The way I described it to my housemates was, "It doesn't taste exactly like beef, but it doesn't taste like plant-based food. If someone gave me this and told me it was a meat pie, I would just assume it was a meat different from beef."
It might be just a teeny first step towards eating more plant-based foods and I'm not going to become vegan or vegetarian overnight — but I've come away from this experience with the resolve to eat less meat overall and isn't that a good thing?
Let me know in the comments about your meat-free journey!
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