About this recipe:This satisfying dish, with its tasty cornmeal topping, makes an exciting vegetarian alternative to shepherd's pie.
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 stick celery, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
150g (5 ½ oz) onions, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
12 stoned green olives, sliced
1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño peppers
75g (2 ¾ oz) canned sweetcorn, drained
400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
salt and black pepper
For the topping
125g (4½ oz) polenta (cornmeal)
1 tablespoon plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, beaten
100ml (3 ½ fl oz) skimmed milk
25g (1 oz) half-fat mature Cheddar cheese, grated
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Method Prep:25min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr25min
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Stir in the celery, garlic, onions and green pepper, bring them to a sizzle, then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, or until they have softened. Stir in the cayenne pepper and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the kidney beans, olives, jalapeño peppers, sweetcorn, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Then spoon the mixture into a 3 litre (5 pint 5 fl oz) ovenproof serving dish.
To make the topping, mix together the cornmeal or polenta, flour, ½ teaspoon of salt and the baking powder, then beat in the egg and milk. The mixture should look like a thick batter; if not, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk.
Spoon the topping over the vegetables, sprinkle with the cheese and bake for 40 minutes, or until the topping is risen and golden brown. Leave the pie to stand for 5 minutes before serving.