So apparently the key to making things taste bloody is:
a) Hickory smoke flavoring; and
b) Red wine.
At least I think that combo makes things taste bloody. (And by bloody, I mean steak-like. And by steak-like, I mean meaty. And by meaty, I mean bloody.) It's been a long long LONG time since I've had blood. Or steak. Or meat. Or blood. But let me tell you, some red wine mixed in with hickory-smoke flavoring DEFINITELY lent this shepherd's pie a surprising meatiness.
Granted, when I took a bite and said out loud: Wow, this is surprisingly meaty in flavor! N-A did not in fact chime in. Which means the 12+ years since meat last sat on my tongue has clearly demolished any memory I have of the flavor of meat. However, N-A did say it was damn tasty. So there you go.
If you want bloody, stab your finger and lick. If you want the delusional long-term veg*an memory of blood, then join me in this shepherd's pie, won't you?
(Sidenote: Seriously--I highly recommend trying out this flavor combo out in a seitan recipe or two. I think it'll be brilliant. When you do, get back to me and let me know. Vicarious trial & error: that's what I'm all about.)
Oh, and ps. For once, I'm actually gonna flip my love of the salty-sweet combo on its head and say that--though I loved this recipe--I actually probably would've used regular potatoes in it, as the sweetness doesn't lend much and I think salty-salty would've ROCKED OUT.
PPSS. And if you didn't guess it, my main incentive for making this was to throw N-A into a state of Bac-O confusion since it already HAS Bac-os in it, so I was like, Take that, motherfucker. NOW what you gonna do now that I've taken your Bac-O revolution away?!?! BLAM!
4 large yams, peeled and cubed
1 c. frozen peas
1 medium onion, minced
5 large mushrooms, minced
1 t. liquid smoke
1/4 c. red wine (I think I used a pinot something--"that's what she said!")
2 c. TVP
2 c. vegetable stock
2 T. Bac-Uns
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. garlic salt
Salt and Pepper
Preheat oven to 400F. Peel yams, cube, and boil until soft. Add Salt and Pepper, and mash.
Combine the stock, wine, and liquid smoke, and stir in TVP to reconstitute.
In a large skillet, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and spices. Cook until onions are just becoming translucent,and add mushrooms. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the TVP with liquids, and the peas. Simmer until everything has reduced and resembles ground beef.
Grease a large casserole dish. Coat the bottom with the TVP/Vegetable mixture, and layer the mashed sweet potatoes over that.