Carbomb Cooks

A guest post from Carbomb, one of the raddest chicks in Chi

Jeff was once in a band with a guy called Russ, who we run into whenever we go to Handlebar. Not only does he work at Handlebar, but he also makes the delicious seitan they use in the food there (which meat eaters have often failed to realize isn't actually the real stuff) and sometimes plays in another awesome band, Mother of Tears. The last time we saw MoT at the Empty Bottle, we were talking to Russ about cooking with seitan and he said he could hook us up with a 5 lb brick of the delicious stuff next time we went by Handlebar.

So Saturday rolled around, I felt the itch for the Everything Green Salad and a Marg and Jeff was jonesing for some seitan chorizo nachos so we went by and at the end of our lunch were presented with a brick of fake meat! To the kitchen! (Word on the street is you can buy Russ' seitan at Whole Foods - we can't remember the brand name, but there's a dude with a moustache on the packaging).

Seitan Shepherd's Pie

Heat your oven to 400.

The insides:
Brown 1.5 lbs of your meat substitute with a little bit of olive oil until it's well thawed out in a deep saute pot. Take the meat out and get 2 chopped onions working in the same pot until they're tinged brown. Then toss in 3 well chopped carrots and let them soften up. I then added one small can of tomato paste, some corn, peas and freshly chopped parsley but you could put in whatever veggies you would like (I would've put in some 'shrooms if not for the mushy hater Jeff) and then season away - I think some cinnamon and nutmeg is nice and autumnal. Then add 1 cup of red wine and 1.5 cups of veggie stock, a small handful of flour to soak up some juices and return the faux meat to the mix. Let all that shit come to a boil, then reduce the heat, put the lid on and let the flavors party.

The top:
Peel, cube and get about 2 lbs of some nice Yukon Golds boiling in some water. Cook til soft, drain, and toss in whatever you like in your mashy potatoes. Salt, pepper, butter, sour cream, cream cheese - what ever kind of creamy you like.

Build the sucker:
Put the insides down in a 9x13 baking dish and level it out. Then scoop your potatoes on top of the whole shebang, and if you're feeling crazy, top it off with some shredded cheddar (I used a really good horseradish cheddar) and chopped scallions. Throw that in the oven until the top of the pie is crusty and golden, about 25 minutes. Drink a glass of the tasty wine you put in the mix.

Boom. Done. You've just made enough food to feed a family of 4 or you and your fella for about 5 days. Also freezes real nice so you can pull it out and toss it in the oven to re-heat for a quick dinner on a chilly autumn night.

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