A cobbler is an old fashioned English dish, containing some sort of stewed fruits or vegetables topped with sweet or savoury scones. This is a savoury version with herbed scones and a medley of seasonal veg and beans; and it has recently become a fortnightly staple in our house. It is brilliantly versatile, quick to make and filling and tasty.
This is my eldest daughter’s favourite dish, partly because I think she likes saying the word ‘cobbler’ but also because of the freshly baked and risen scones on top and the beans and veggies smothered in herby sauce beneath. It is definitely comfort food, and it’s perfect for this time of year when the days are still cold and the evenings are still dark. It’s really simple and can be put together from scratch in about 30-40 minutes. The veg I’ve used here are bits and bobs left in the veg box and some kale that’s still hanging on in the garden, plus some frozen peas for sweetness, but the general idea can be jazzed up with any seasonal veg and your choice of beans.
This scone recipe is dairy free and uses an egg, I’m pretty sure the whole recipe would be easily veganised by adding an extra tsp of baking powder in with the flour and replacing the egg with 2 extra tbsp of plant milk and 1 tsp of vinegar. Or by using any good vegan scone recipe that you are familiar with.
The other thing I really love about this dish (which is probably of no concern to my daughter whatsoever) is that it’s all made in the one pan, with only one other small bowl used for making the scone dough. A tasty meal that the whole family loves, that costs very little, uses up whatever veg that’s about and also hits the washing up jackpot. Bingo!
- 3 tbsp of olive or refined coconut oil (30p)
- 1 leek (60p)
- 1 onion (10p)
- 2 cloves of garlic (10p)
- 4 tbsp of plain flour (4p)
- 600ml of vegetable stock (20p)
- 2 carrots, (22p)
- 150g of kale or chard (£1.12)
- 3 large sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp of dried (15p)
- 200g of cooked pinto beans (£1)
- a handful of fresh or frozen peas (30p)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the topping
- 200g of brown self raising flour (29p)
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs (15p)
- 1 tsp mustard powder (7p)
- 3 tbsp of nutritional yeast (optional) (28p)
- a few grinds of salt & pepper
- 50g butter / dairy free spread (15p)
- 1 egg (37p)
- a splash of soya milk (3p)
Slice the leek and finely chop the onion. In a large shallow pan on a medium heat, fry them in the oil for 5 minute, and then add the sliced garlic and continue to fry for another 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of plain flour and cook it in the oil for another 3 minutes, creating a paste. Pour in the vegetable stock bit by bit, stirring to create a thickened sauce, now add the thinly sliced carrots, shredded kale and the sprigs of thyme and simmer the vegetables in the sauce with the lid on while you make the topping.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees c
In a bowl mix together the brown self raising flour, the mixed herbs, the mustard powder and the nutritional yeast, then season with the salt and pepper. Add the butter to the bowl and rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and a small splash of milk and combine it all to form a dough.
Remove the lid from the vegetable mixture, stir in the pinto beans and frozen peas and season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Empty the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a shape 1 inch thick. Use a small (2 inch round) cutter to cut several scones and place them straight on top of the vegetables. Push the remaining dough together and cut more scones until it is used up. The dough should make around 10-12 small scones. Brush the tops of the scones with milk and then put the whole dish, uncovered, into the hot oven for 15-20 minutes.
The pan will come out of the oven, bubbling, with beautifully golden risen scones and a thick saucy vegetable and bean stew underneath. Spoon it into bowls, and serve it as it is, it is already rich in veg so it really needs no accompaniments. I hope you like it as much as my daughter!
This whole recipe costs £5.47 to make, which works out at £1.37 per generous hearty warming portion.