Vegetarian Cottage Pie That Even Meat Eaters Will Nosh

Sunday was St. Pat’s and even though I wasn’t going all out in the cooking dept like years past, I still had to at least make Cottage Pie (it’s only called Shepherd’s Pie if it contains lamb) and since I wanted to eat it too, I made it vegetarian.

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Now, Sprog isn’t huge on veg cuisine but he does like Field Roast and will actually eat it on the regular without complaint so obviously that was my go-to for the “meat” portion of the dish. Normally I would use the Apple Sage version and since I thought I had some, I didn’t grab any when I went to Midtown for my weekly hippie shopping run but alas I only had Italian or Mexican. Obvs, I went with the Italian and was slightly concerned what it would do with the end result of the dish, but I am not one to be easily deterred in the kitchen. I already had a plan to add some “smoky” elements to the dish to make it more substantial and “meaty” for the boys, so I figured whatever I did there would just help mask the italian seasonings or at the very least tie them in a bit. I also was going to use a frozen vegetable medley that comes with a parmesan butter which would also help tie things together…in theory.

So let’s talk trickery and fooling the meat eaters, k?

Step 1:
Field Roast. Unwrap three links for this recipe and pulse them in the food processor so that they resemble ground beef when it gets crumbly and browned in a pan. Now brown it up in some olive oil.

Step 2:
Liquid Aminos: I got the kind in a spray bottle so I just sprayed 3 or 4 times as I was browning up the meat to replace any Worcestershire sauce. (you can go more or less depending on your preference)

Step 3:
Guinness: While not vegan (processed with the swim bladders of fish) there isn’t a trace left in the finished product so it depends on your strictness. Definitely adds a lovely richness to the finished product

Step 4:
Smoked Paprika: I LOVE this stuff. Like serious addicted levels of love and it’s fantastic added to the mashed potatoes on top. I also split the potatoes-2 reg and 2 sweet to add some extra veg into Sprog’s horrible teenager diet.

Step 5:
Add some heat: I added cayenne pepper to the “meat” mixture as well as black pepper and it really helps! No bland foods!

After we finished Willy looked at me with a bit of shock on his face when he realized we all ate from the same dish and it wasn’t actually meat. I LOVE THAT.

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