Recently, we had a dear friend return home after months of being on the road in Europe with his band. I wanted to make him something hearty and homey. Something to curb the chill in the air and that he may not have been able to get on the road. This cottage pie is vegan, as is our friend, and the mushrooms make it so meaty and rich. The sweetness of the squash make an amazing companion to the mushrooms and the smokey paprika warms the whole dish. If you're not vegan, feel free to add real butter and even a little sprinkle of cheese in (and over) the mashed potato topping.
Vegan Mushroom & Butternut Squash Cottage Pie
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Makes: 6 servings
Generally, I don't like to use butter substitutes that aren't olive oil or coconut oil, but these potatoes called for more. A buttery vegan sub-in worked beautifully here but if you aren't worried about dairy, feel free to add the real thing.
4 large russet potatoes, cubed
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter or non-dairy butter, melted
1/4 cup warm vegetable stock or milk (dairy or non)
2 tbsp olive oil
24oz button mushrooms, rough chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cups cubed butternut squash (fresh or frozen), cubed
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
sprig of thyme
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp (tiny pinch) ground cinnamon
1 cup dark beer
1/2 - 1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
fresh thyme leaves, to garnish
1. Place potatoes in a pot of cold, generously salted water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook until potatoes are easily pieced with a fork, 10-15 minutes. Add the raw garlic and butter and mash well, Add enough liquid to make them creamy, starting with 2 tbsp and adding the full 1/4 cup if needed. If you want them very creamy, get out your handheld mixer and whip until pillowy.
2. Preheat oven to 375.
3. While your potatoes are boiling, heat up the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet or dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the mushrooms and let cook untouched for 5-6 minutes. You want the liquid from them to be released so they start to brown and crisp. Mix and let sit for another 5-6 minutes Repeat once more. Add the onions, squash, celery and carrots and cook until onions have softened and are just starting to brown, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, paprika, cumin and cinnamon and cook until tomato paste has browned lightly and everything is very fragrant, 5-6 minutes. Add the beer and peas and bring to a boil, scraping the stuck on bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the 1/2 cup veggie stock and stir everything well. If it seems a bit stodgy, add more stock. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spread or pipe the potatoes over the mushroom mixture, drizzle with olive oil and bake until the top is golden brown. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, fresh ground pepper and serve.
There is nothing better in this crisp, cool weather than comfort food! As always, a big thank you to Kelly for joining us in our kitchen and sharing such delicious eats.
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