Easy & Delicious: Vegan Stew and Dumplings

Vegan food doesn’t need to be fancy, contain difficult-to-source ingredients, or indeed be completely unfamiliar. This stew, which replaces traditional beef with hearty Portabello mushrooms, is reminiscent of French heritage cooking – but without the additional helping of animal sadness.

A generous amount of red wine, and lots of fresh herbs, pack plenty of intense flavour – even dedicated meat eaters won’t miss their beef. This is a great recipe to hang on to if you’re not vegan/veggie, but occasionally need to knock something up for vegetarian/vegan guests. It’s easy to prepare, and will satisfy the appetites and tastes of the masses.

Ingredients

2tbs olive oil

500g Portabello or other large flat mushrooms, cut into rough bitesize chunks

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 sticks celery, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

230ml red wine (I use Shiraz)

3 tbs plain flour

1 pint vegetable broth or vegetable stock

4-5 medium potatoes cut into 1-2 inch chunks

a handful of fresh rosemary

a handful of fresh thyme

2tbs yeast extract (Marmite, or another brand)

150g self raising flour

75g vegetable suet

1 tsp salt

vegan stew

Method

1.  Heat the olive oil in a large hob-friendly casserole dish or saucepan and once hot, add the chopped mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, agitating regularly, until browned.

2. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes until slightly softened.

3. Add the red wine, and allow to simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

4. Slowly add the plain flour, stirring constantly until completely combined, then add the potatoes and pour over the veggie broth/stock. Sprinkle sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top and bring to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make your dumpling  mix by mixing self raising flour, suet and salt with a little water to make a sticky dough. Once your stew has been simmering for 45 mins, stir in the Marmite and add large dollops of the dumpling dough (make sure they’re well spaced as they will expand as they cook and will stick together if they find one another!).

6. Your stew and dumplings is ready to serve once your dumplings are fluffy (15-20 mins).

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