A vegan Irish stew is quite different from a 'normal' Irish stew, but it's just as delicious.
While I am a meat eater, I have to say I really enjoyed this. I thought I wanted the consistency of meat in this dish, but once I began eating it, it didn't matter.
Countless studies have highlighted how a vegan diet can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and Cardiovascular disease. While some people say a vegan diet can lack flavor etc., I haven't found this to be true at all.
If, like me, you are a meat eater, surely incorporating some vegan meals into your life will be no big deal. I will definitely be making this again. And it was so tasty I forgot to take a picture of it on the plate. However, maybe you're better off not seeing it on a plate, as presentation is not one of my strong points!
Vegan Irish stew recipe
3 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms (or any mushrooms) cleaned and coarsely chopped
2 medium celery stalks, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 small russet potato, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
You can also have more potatoes on the side or have more in the actual stew.
Now onto the serious part: how to make it!
1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with 2 tablespoons of oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms in an even layer (you can also use Fry Light if you don't want to use oil). Avoid crowding the pan and cook them in batches if needed. Allow the mushrooms to cook for about 5 minutes, flip, and cook 5 minutes more, until lightly browned on both sides. Remove them from the pot and transfer to a plate.
2. Add the remaining oil to the pot. When the oil is hot, add the celery, carrot, and onion. If you want to add different vegetables you can, but these are the traditional ones used in an Irish stew. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften.
3. Stir in the garlic and flour. Sauté about 2 minutes more, until the garlic is very fragrant and the flour evenly coats the veggies.
4. Stir in the broth, tomato paste, cabbage, potato and thyme. Return the mushrooms to the pot. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. The veggies should be a bit firm at this point. You can add up to a cup of water during simmering if the broth reduces too much. I myself like a thick broth.
5. After the stew has simmered for 10 minutes, taste test the broth and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cover the pot and lower the heat. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes more, until the veggies are tender.
And now it's time for the best part... eating it.
My vegan Irish stew looked a bit like the one pictured below. However, instead of the dumplings I had more potatoes and the broth was slightly thicker!
Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.