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VIDEO: You’ve tried mince but how about VINCE? Foodie Brian puts new veggie pie to the test

An award-winning Angus restaurateur has brought back her popular vegetarian take on a Scottish classic – the Vince and tatties pie!

As Veganuary accelerates to full speed, Hayley Wilkes, of the WeeCOOK Kitchen at Barry Downs, near Carnoustie, has reintroduced her popular offering which combines the very best of ingredients.

When the pie was first released last year, after local producers were used as taste testers, it was an instant success, and followed on from their award-winning cauliflower bhuna curry vegan pie.

Hayley, who was named Resilient Woman of the Year at the 2020 Business Women Scotland Awards, explained: “It is the vegan little brother of our popular mince and tatties pies. It tastes great!

“The whole point of Vince was that it’s not fake meat or meat substitute stuff. We’d experimented with vegan and veggie haggis, neeps and tatties pies. Then Greggs and KFC came out with their vegan sausage roll and ‘fake’ chicken burger… we thought it a bit faddy just for the sake of being on point!

Hayley Wilkes, centre, surrounded by members of her team at the WeeCOOK Kitchen, Barry Downs.

“We have a lot of repeat regular vegan customers who buy our pies because of the quality so we wanted a quality alternative as opposed to an artificial meat substitute.

“Also, a few of our fellow Angus producers are vegan so they got to be guinea pigs when we were testing our first batches of ‘Vince’ last year.

“Our plan had been to enter Vince and tatties into the various pie awards and, but alas Covid stopped those plans. So we parked Vince up early last summer to focus on other pies.”

HELLO VEGANUARYWe don’t shout out much about Veganuary as I’m the WeeCOOK Kitchen we offer vegan alternative or…

Posted by Wee COOK on Thursday, 7 January 2021

“Vince” is back!

However, the popularity of the WeeCOOK’s vegan offering has necessitated Hayley and her hard-working team bringing “Vince” back for Veganuary.

“People had it missed it,” added Hayley. “The feedback from our vegan customers is that there wasn’t much in the way of quality comfort food and so our cauli bhuna or ‘Vince’ pies are a real treat!

“We’re feeling positive for the year ahead, so we’re bringing Vince and tatties back.

“Our ‘Vince’ is a secret recipe but is essentially just roasted vegetables, walnuts, pulses and gravy, cooked and seasoned exactly the same way we do our mince.

“Our pie shells and lids are made with plant-based margarine, not butter, so that gives us a great base for continuing to develop and introduce more special flavour combinations and fillings if we find there is demand in future.

“Also with an ever-increasing focus on allergens, such as lactose or dairy intolerance, the vegan pies are great to be able to offer them too.”

Taste test

From left, clockwise: chicken and bacon, Vince and tatties, and cauli bhuna pies.

As a fully committed carnivore, the offer to try the WeeCOOK’s Vince and tatties pie was not one this writer was going to pass up.

And I was hugely impressed with the pie.

Cutting into it, it was clear the pastry was spot on being light and crispy on the top, while the filling was absolutely delicious, seasoned to perfection with more than a hint of pepper and spice which I really enjoyed.

I love my mince and tatties, and the idea of having it in a pie appeals. As a vegan alternative the Vince and Tatties was a delight and an able substitute I would happily eat again.

We had also ordered a couple of other pies – the chicken and bacon and the cauli bhuna and a lovely touch with WeeCOOK is the provision of a pie chart with your delivery which allows you to work out which pie is which, depending on the marking on the pastry top.

The pie chart.