For this Irish Lamb Stew made without lamb (honestly, wouldn’t you rather just cuddle one?), I used TVP chunks or soy nuggets which I browned first, just as you would brown meat, to add deep and rich flavor. Browning the TVP first makes the nuggets chewier, giving them a very meat-like texture that’s often hard to replicate in vegan substitutes. The TVP also gives the stew a big protein boost, making it pretty much a meal in itself with all the veggies in there like potatoes and carrots, and mushrooms. You can serve it with some crusty bread or some rice or, in true Irish style, with a side of potatoes and cabbage.
Irish ‘Lamb’ Stew [Vegan]
- 1 cup TVP chunks or soy chunks
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat or even a gluten-free flour like rice flour)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups button or crimini mushrooms, halved or quartered if large
- 3 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds about ⅙ of an inch thick
- 3 potatoes, cut in a chunky dice
- ½ bottle of beer (use a Guinness for more authenticity. If you don’t want to add beer, use wine, or just leave it out)
- 3 to 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (substitute with 1 tsp dry)
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (substitute with 1 tsp dry)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- Soak the TVP or soy chunks in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain.
- Mix the flour with some salt and pepper and dredge the TVP chunks in the flour. Shake off any excess flour.
- Heat all but 1 tsp of the vegetable oil in a dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
- Place the TVP chunks in the dutch oven in a single layer, being careful not to crowd them. Brown the chunks on all sides over medium heat.
- Remove to a dish lined with a paper towel and set aside. Also reserve any flour remaining from dredging the TVP because we’ll use that to thicken the sauce.
- Add the remaining teaspoon of oil to the dutch oven and add the onions and garlic. Season with some salt and pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the onions are softened and translucent, about three to four minutes.
- Add the thyme, rosemary, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes and celery and saute until the vegetables are all well mixed together.
- Add the remaining flour and stir well to mix, about two minutes.
- Add the beer and 4 cups of the vegetable stock along with the reserved TVP chunks.
- Bring to a boil, turn the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are all tender and the flavors have melded together. Add more stock or water if the stew looks too dry. I made my stew rather thick because that’s how we like it, but you can definitely make it soupier.
- Add salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Serve hot. Stew always tastes best when it has had some time to stand and the flavors have mixed together, so this is a great dish to make the day before you want to serve it.