This recipe had me running around on a wild goose chase for vegan Irish Stout… I don’t think it exists, or at least it is not readily available in UK supermarkets. I found a good list of vegan British Ales but I felt weird using an ale rather than a stout in an Irish stew…. So, probably to the disgust of many Irish Stew lovers, I decided to not use any alcohol at all.
My reason for this is mainly that I wanted to keep it vegan and gluten free so omitting the beer made this a lot easier! It also saved me some petrol as I had driven around so many supermarkets and off licences searching for the perfect stout/ ale for my stew.
Also there are a vast amount of Irish stew recipes out there but I wanted to see if I could get the same rich flavour using other ingredients such as porcini mushrooms. Ok it doesn’t have that dark brown thick sauce which comes from a beef and stout stew but I can confirm that it tastes delicious and of course it is a much healthier version!! Although I’m not sure that’s a factor often considered when your faced with a big rich warming stew.
This recipe is of course to celebrate St Patrick’s day on Sunday 17th March! Out of all the Saints days, St Patrick’s day seems to be a world-wide celebrated occasion whether you are Irish or not! Every pub in my town and the surrounding towns have had bright green decorations, four leaf clovers and the odd pot of gold plastered all over their windows for weeks now, and many boast of Irish themed menu changes and deals on Guiness.
I remember my first St Patricks day when I was of drinking age and me and my friends started drinking Guiness mixed with blackcurrant cordial because we couldn’t stand the taste of actual Guiness! But it was all we allowed ourselves to drink because it was St Patricks day 🙂 It was a fun night but I don’t think I could personally ever drink Guiness again!
Now a days at my slightly more sensible age I prefer to have my alcohol with some food! Recipes like Irish stew are perfect for big parties where everyone can grab a bowl and help themselves to big spoonfuls of stew served with Colcannon (recipe coming tomorrow) and you can stand around bowl in one hand, pint in the other and catch up with good friends. This recipe would make a great vegan alternative so that your veggie friends don’t feel left out!
Serves 6 (can easily be doubled)
1 Onion – diced
2 Large Carrots – sliced
2 Parsnips – peeled and sliced
2 Baking Potatoes – peeled and sliced
2 Leeks – washed thoroughly and sliced
1 tblspn Tomato Puree
1 tblspn Gluten Free Flour
30g Dried Porcini/ Mixed Mushrooms
1 Can Tomatoes
Handful sliced Fresh mushrooms
To begin you need to soak the dried mushrooms in 600ml boiling water for 30 mins. This dark mushroom infused liquid is going to become my stout substitute!
In a frying pan heat a little oil and add the onion, parsnip, leeks, potatoes and carrots and sauté for 10 mins (you want to get a bit of colour on it all for flavour and depth) then add salt n pepper, 1 tblspn tomato purée and the soaked porcini mushrooms and cook for further 5-7 mins.
Stir in 1 tblsp flour to the pan and then transfer everything to the slow cooker. Add 1 can chopped tomatoes and the porcini mushroom liquid and the fresh mushrooms and cook on high for 4 hours. Check everything has gone nice and thick and saucy and that the vegetables are nice and soft! If not then leave in for another 30-60 minutes.
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I gotta get me some Irish Stew going on Sunday! *scribbles on calendar*