All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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I am all about Beyond Meat! Click HERE to get a coupon to try some yourself & to use their store locator. This brand is the absolute best vegan meat on the market – in my opinion. These beefy crumbles are so delicious that even unapologetic carnivore & hyper-finicky eater, the badass Miles Miller, ate this shepherd’s pie & declared it delicious. He even went on to rave that he would eat this fake ground beef in pasta or in tacos etc etc. This is a man that takes the TEENSIEST nibble of remotely questionable foods (like any vegetable or dish that is new to him or anything vegetarian) & often even indulges in a sour expression of distaste to make his displeasure clear. But not in response to this stuff. I am convinced that you need not even tell a meat eater that this stuff is fake. They would be very unlikely to guess.
That said – shepherd’s pie is pretty hard to photograph. I even Googled an image search to see how others had pulled it off. Pretty much everyone leaves it in the pan it was cooked in – because, when plated, it spills out & can just look like chunky mush. In the interest of full disclosure, I stacked two servings on top of each other to create that deep, lasagna look. You can do this, too, when serving it – otherwise a single serving looks sorta anemic.
This came together in an hour – start to finish – and is really, really easy. I would use more sweet potato, in the future, to create a deeper pie but it is full of flavor & has a bit of a kick. Used random vegetables I had in the house from my Farm Fresh to You delivery but you can use whatever floats your boat.
Southwestern Vegan Beef & Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie with Chipotle Sweet Potato Mash
for the chipotle sweet potato mash
6+ medium sweet potatoes – peeled & cubed
2 chipotle peppers – minced
1 TBS adobo sauce (from the can of chipotle peppers)
4 TBS vegan butter
1/3 cup or more almond or soy or rice milk
for the shepherd’s pie
18 oz vegan ground beef
6 small carrots – chopped
2 sunburst or pattypan squash (or zucchini) – chopped
1 bell pepper – chopped
1 serrano pepper – chopped (seeds removed for less heat)
1 small red onion – chopped
2 celery stalks – chopped
2 garlic cloves – chopped
1 chipotle pepper – minced (or more for more heat)
2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS canned or fresh jalapeno – chopped
1 TBS cumin
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS onion powder
Handful of cilantro – chopped (and extra for garnish)
Cayenne or chili powder
Extra vegan butter
(other vegetables you could use might be corn, peas, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli)
Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Boil the sweet potatoes until very soft.
In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and, basically, heat all the shepherd’s pie ingredients until the vegetables are soft. Season with S&P. Add more canned jalapeno or chipotle or adobo for more spice.
Mash the sweet potatoes with the milk, butter, chipotle peppers & some S&P. Taste & season with more chipotle peppers or adobo sauce or S&P.
I treated a casserole pan with cooking oil & put the meat & veggies in there & then spread the sweet potatoes on top. Sprinkle some cayenne or chili powder on top & drop a few butter cubes on there, too.
Bake for 30 minutes or until it begins to brown a bit.
Serve with cilantro.