It's Gotta be A Manly Meat Pie: The Best Traybake Plant Based Ragu Wrapped in Pastry You've Ever Eaten

in Natural Medicine6 days ago

Plant based doesn't have to be lettuce and mung beans and wasting away. Those myths have been truly shot to the ground, and if you're still a man arguing about the manliness of plant based meals, you really need to get plant educated. There's more than enough protein in plants to fill your belly and give you energy to be manly, whatever that means to you.

But sometimes, you gotta go hard on that satisfying 'meaty' taste, rich with flavour, a little smoky and spicey maybe, filling and suprising.

Which makes me want to rave about the best pie filling I've ever made. In fact, it's great for lasagne, spaghetti bolognaise, or shepard's pie - good, hearty meals that would make any man happy.


It's the most extraordinary vegan ragu you have ever eaten. I'm serious. This recipe was enough to make my spag bol loving husband to admit he preferred this to the meat version. That's a serious claim. Ottolenghi, in his new recipe book 'Flavour' said so many iterations of this recipe were made they could have sunk a small ship, before finally arriving at this one.

Of course, the second time I made it I adapted it a little more to suit. It IS a long ingredient list - and the way the recipe is put together is a little daunting, so I wrote it out differently so I could send it to all my friends so THEY could make it too. I think I have just saved at least one cow by doing this.

The umami taste in this is just perfect. It's smokey and a little spicey if you like it that way, rich and full of flavours and good. It's definitely not lettuce wrapped around a carrot.

And it's pretty darn addictive.

Arguably, you could use any sort of mushroom in this - I suggest porcini has got that special flavour but I imagine perhaps shitake would also work. Porcini is NOT cheap here - hence why I reduced the amount, but it still tasted amazing.

If you are making the pies, here's a top tip - put the filling into muffin trays, freeze them and wrap the pastry around the frozen 'cups' of ragu. Super easy for a quick midweek pie feast - you could even serve it with mash and gravy!


First of all, simply food process the vegetables until finely chopped or do it by hand (I did it by hand). Toss them together in a bowl with the tomato paste, miso paste, soy, cummin and harrissa. Cook this at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes, stir, and bake for another 20 minutes or until browned around the edges and bubbling. At this point it will smell absolutely delicious.

3 carrots, peeled and chopped3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 onions, chopped into large chunksHalf a bunch of finely chopped spring onions
300 g oyster mushrooms6 large field mushrooms or 10 large button mushrooms
60 g dried porcini, roughly blitzed30 - 40 g dried porchini, finely blitzed
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped4-6 garlic leaves or a large handful of garlic chives, fine chopped
3 - 4 plum tomatoes, chopped3 large tomatoes and 1/2 can tinned tomatoes
120 ml olive oil80 ml olive oil
70g white miso paste2 heaped tablespoons red miso paste
90 ml soy sauceA generous splash of tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp crushed cummin seeds2 heaped tablespoons of cummin powder
40 g rose harrissa1 heaped tablespoon harissa (test for spiciness and adjust accordingly)
4 tbsp of tomato paste4 tbsp tomato paste

First bake the vegetables til browned and smelling insanely delicious


Due to the size of my pan, I could not fit a litre of stock in as the recipe called for, so we went with half a litre, and added more after about 25 minutes. We never used up the whole litre, but the pearl barley and lentils were cooked. Thus, it's only necessary to use the water to cook the pulses, so a simple check will solve the small dish issue.

180 g brown or green lentilsScant cup of lentils
100 g pearl barley1/2 cup of pearl barley
160 g coconut creamscant 1/3 of a tin coconut cream
100 ml red wine80 ml of red wine and a swig for the cook
1 litre vegetable stock1/2 litre of stock and more if needed
salt and peppersalt and pepper, plus a spillage of peppercorns on the kitchen floor


Double check your puff pastry to make sure it doesn't have lard or animal fat in it. Cut into squares. Fold the edges over to make pies, like so.

Sprinkle with seeds or cracked black pepper (ours had onion seeds and sesame seeds). Cook in medium oven til golden brown and piping hot.


My son and his girlfriend have very meat loving friends that wouldn't have a clue about how to cook at all, let alone plant based meals. Last time they went for dinner, they had tomato soup. Long story short, my son made these pies for them and they nearly died with amazement, finding them meaty, satisfying and 'as good as any meat pie you'd eat', they said. Now if that's not proof in the pudding pie, I don't know what is.

Manly? Well, as much as a good meat pie can be 'manly', I suppose, if you're still old fashioned enough to believe food has a gender type.

Can vegan food be 'manly'? What stereotypes do people through at non meat eaters? What food would you serve up to a vegetarian? Would you rather eat meat any day? Can you get enough nutrients from a plant based diet to be a sexy, virile, strong man?

Natural Medicine and Man Cave present the MANLY MAN PLANT BASED CHALLENGE. Check out the challenge here - it's on for the rest of the month, so choose a topic or a viewpoint and go for it! You can win BRO and LOTUS tokens as well as HIVE!

With Love,

Join The Best Natural Health Community on Hive


They look amazing, and I believe that you did a great job making them have a meaty flavor.. then I looked at the ingredients (half I don't know lol) and saw mushrooms.. there's where my journey for this one ends. Although I have learned to eat (a lot!) veggies that I never ate or didn't want to eat anymore, and am on the right path.. mushrooms are still making me nausea even holding them :) I never touch them and am instantly done eating if I find one in my food.

I do agree that meat is not needed, we ate vegetarian 3 times in a week last week, and we both enjoyed it and didn't have cravings for meat at all. Now do I have to admit that I'm not one that needs meat daily but my boyfriend is a meat lover and wasn't too convinced that a meal without it would be satisfying enough. Slowly we are finding more ways to enjoy vegetarian dishes without missing meat.. So that's good.

Your first picture made me think if I have enough ingredients in the house to make puff pastry packages with a nice filling, because I love puff pastry :)

 6 days ago (edited)

I really believe that if you can limit your meat to once or twice a week, you do HUGE things for the planet!!! That's great going, and 'slowly finding more ways' to eat plant based is SUPER - well done you! My son feels the same way about mushrooms, but happily ate this recipe - the trick is to super finely chop them so you don't get that texture. Because this is baked, and then all the other ingredients, you wouldn't even know there was a mushroom in there, but I totally understand you - I LOATHED them til I was 28 and even then I'm a bit fussy and have to be in the mood.

I'd love to read about your journey and experiments. There are lots of options to write for this challenge, and it doesn't even need to be a recipe.

Pies are the answer!!! Try making a lentil dal and make it super thick and put that in a pie- yuuuummmmm. That'll fill you up! Or a moroccan chick pea filling!

Sooo when am I coming over for dinner? 🤣

Awesome, I can't wait to make them and have you over for dinner!

As for manly man meals- the man that doesn't need to participate in the torture and murder of innocent animals for his meal is the manliest of men to me. (got any spare??? 🤣)

Also if the 'manly' men in your life don't feel that eating plant based foods can be manly enough for them, then they need to meet Damian Mander, former Melbourne, Aussie SAS who has been Vegan a longtime and actually trains park rangers at his IAPF HQ in Mozambique

And if that doesn't convince them, then introduce them to the NO Meat AthleteS

Otherwise, thanks SO MUCH for sharing this exciting recipe (not that I ever ate a lot of meat pies back then (sausage rolls and chocolate milk was one of my hangover cures)

AND my flatmate makes the best vegan sausage rolls out of Quorn mince.

I must get her to share that recipe too cause they are truly delicious and WAyyyy better than the original ones too!

 6 days ago 

Sausage rolls and chocolate milk! Haha - totally old school lunches! I hate sausage rolls, and not just because I don't eat meat that much. I agree vegetarian ones are way tastier!!! I don't eat quorn - I only found out I was allergic to it when I was in England this year! I was violently ill for about two days, so I'm never eating it again lol. A shame, as I actually liked it.

Haha, you after a spare man?

It's funny, I have a weird allergic to Quorn too, but only if I eat it for more than 3 consecutive days and it's not vomiting- it's non- stop, mind bending itchy feet- under the skin.

It didn't matter what I did and so after about 12months, I did some research and saw the vomiting reactions to Quorn, gave myself multiple on/off tests and they haven't itched since, so apart from the sausage rolls and occasional lasagne made out of it, I very rarely eat it- especially not more than twice in a row, but then I rarely eat faux meat substitutes anyway, there's no need to.

However, my partner at that time, who was always violently ill eating mushrooms- regardless of how much I disguised them, could eat Quorn till it was coming out his ears....whereas I love mushrooms and never had a bad reactions, not even to the magic kind back in the🤣

Weird eh. Shame, because I do like it too- especially the ficken versions....

Why, you got one....??? A spare that is....🤣

Yes you can!


This guy is Germany´s best strongman.

 6 days ago 

Yes, our competition post for Nat Med showed a pic of him! He's awesome.

This looks very delicious, especially when I haven't had breakfast yet. It's not that complicated to prepare. Very good photos, very tempting!

 6 days ago 

Haha it's the worst when you are hungry and reading food posts on HIVE!!!! It's actually less complicated than the recipe book made it. Roast vegies with seasoning, add lentils etc and cook - that's it. Yet he uses about ten steps!

Looks sooooo yummy!!!!

 6 days ago 

It was. Very different from your food @sreypov - you'll have to share a manly man Cambodian dish!

It looks delicious. I'm not a vegetarian, but during this quarantine I have had some orientation to eat more vegetables and I have practically reduced the consumption of meat by half. I have felt much better since then, I would like to learn how to prepare rich dishes with vegetables like this one, to keep eating vegetables 😊

I might be drooling over here. Can I come over for dinner?