Stew's are something that unless you grew up with them (because say you're from the UK or Ireland), then they're most likely towards the bottom of your "what to make for dinner barrel". Not because there's anything particularly wrong with them, just that A) they require a bit of time to do their thing, either on the hob or in the oven - which many of us are becoming increasingly unwilling to plan ahead sufficiently enough to do, which is a bit sad, and then because B) aesthetically they're a little average.
So with this recipes, I've tried to remedy that last point by putting the potatoes on top instead of in the stew, and grilled them a bit after baking so you essentially have the best of both worlds. Saucy, flavourful, soft stew-like potatoes, with that roasted potato finish. Glorious! As for stews taking a while, I do implore you to give it a go despite it taking a couple of beats to make, as it's the perfect comforting (and dare I say, just as "meaty" and satisfying as the real deal) dish to make for your loved ones on a cold, or even just overcast kind of day.
- olive oil
- 1 large onion (or 2 small), chopped how you like
- 2 celery stalks, chopped smallish
- 3 carrots, top and tailed & chopped into chunks
- 2 heaped tsp minced garlic
- 10 large mushroom cups (or about 7 portobello mushrooms), chopped into all different medium-large sized pieces
- 1 heaped cup mushroom cups, sliced small
- 2 tbsp GF plain flour (or regular flour)
- 1/2 cup vegan beer/white wine (or Guiness works too for a darker stew)
- 1/2 cup chopped/crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 3-4 cups vegan "beef stock" (or veg stock if you don't have it available to you)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary, "leaves" only
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 2 tsp coconut sugar
- salt & pepper
- 4 large potatoes, peeled & sliced thickly
- vegan butter
- Pre-heat your oven to 180C.
- In a large pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and add the onion, celery, carrots & garlic. Saute until the onion is lightly golden and the other veg softens.
- Meanwhile in another large fry-pan, add another glug of olive oil and saute both types of mushrooms in two batches so not to crowd them too much. Don't touch them too much, as you want them to reduce in size and become slightly golden. Once all the mushrooms are sauteed set aside.
- Add the plain flour to the onion mixture and stir to coat the veg. Cook the flour off for a minute or two and let it soak up the moisture in the pan. Add the beer, tomtoes, cooked mushrooms and 3 cups of the "beef" stock and stir everything together. If you desire a runnier consistancy (bear in mind it will thicken up in the oven) add the remaining cup of stock.
- Add the bay leaves, rosemary, mixed herbs, sugar and a grind each of salt and pepper. Stir together and let bubble away while you get out your baking dish (if your pot isn't oven safe that is) and chop your potatoes.
- Transfer the stew to an oven safe dish if need be, and layer the potatoes on top of the stew so that they float oven the mixture. Dot little bits of vegan butter over the top, and finish with a grind of salt & pepper.
- Cover the stew and cook for 1 hour. After the hour has finished up, take off the lid/foil and cook under the grill setting for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are seriously golden brown. Enjoy honeybunches!!