Bayko’s Shepherd’s Pie

I’ve been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. Back in the days of punk houses and Edward 40-hands. Maybe longer. It’s a dish that doesn’t have a ‘recipe’ because I make it from memory. It has starred in countless potlucks, has won apartment house cook-offs, and it’s a dish that I’m always confident will be a hit. The sound of the red wine deglazing the beef brings me right back to the first time I ever had this prepared for me. Many, many memories have been built from this simple combo of creamy potatoes, rich beef, and sweet corn. If you make it, I know it will become one of your favorite memories, too.

*This “recipe” is easy to follow, but it isn’t exact. Feel your way through it – tweaking and tasting as you go until you make it your own. This one is almost verbatim from an email I wrote to a friend in 2008. Reach out with questions and I’ll walk you through it!


2 packages Best Life Beef, chopped or ground in a food processor
Olive oil
Cheap red wine
1 onion
3-5 cloves garlic
1 can whole kernel sweet corn
1 can creamed corn
5-6 small or 4-5 medium/large potatoes (russet + red bliss)
non-dairy milk & butter
vegan sour cream (Tofutti, always and forever)
Green onions

The How-To

  1. Circle a pan two or three times with olive oil .  Chop up 1 small/medium onion and/or scallions and 3-5 cloves of garlic and throw them in until they’re translucent.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Take 2 boxes of ground Best Life Beef and throw that in too.  Cook that at a higher temp for a while until it’s browning in spots.  Add in about a cup of dry red wine and lower the heat and let it simmer for a while.  That’s pretty much it for the meat part.
  2. For the potatoes, I usually use a combination of baking potatoes and red bliss potatoes.  I will peel the russet potatoes and leave the skin on the bliss.  Just boil them in some nice salty water until they’re soft enough to be mashed.  Then you just mash them together with a bunch of sour cream, butter, salt, a splash of milk and the greens from the scallions.
  3. To put it all together, layer the meat on the bottom of a baking pan, then one can of whole kernel corn and one can of creamed corn, then scoop the potatoes on top.  I usually sprinkle the whole thing with paprika because it’s pretty and then stick it in the oven until everything is warm and bubbly and the top is just slightly crisped, somewhere around 350*.  That’s it!
See more awesome ways to cook up some badass Plant Meat here. View Recipes