Stout beer. Mmm delicious. Pity most brands use isinglass in the fining process. Dang. BUT I looked and looked (it was hard, because I'm not too knowledgable on beer brands) and found that Coopers makes a vegan friendly stout beer! (Bonus points for being Aussie owned and made). And thus this stew was born. (Inspired by this recipe from Martha Stewart).
For the beef part I used this stuff. Found it in the freezer in an Asian supermarket. I'm not entirely sure of it's brand. There are words everywhere. I think it's essentially frozen rehydrated TVP chunks, and it pretty much has the same texture as the type of cow you'd buy to slow cook. Except you don't have to break your jaw chewing on it. (Ew.)
Vegan Beef and Stout Stew
3 1/2 cups of beef style pieces, defrosted (or rehydrated beef style TVP slices)
2 tbsp wholemeal flour*
170g tomato paste
500g potatoes, diced in 2cm bits
1 large onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
400mL beef style stock (I use massel)
220mL vegan stout beer
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potatoes in some oil or water in a large stock pot for about 5 minutes. Add flour and stir until it starts to brown. Stir in stock, tomato paste and stout beer so no lumps form. It will thicken a bit. You may need to add extra water if it's too thick. I added about an extra cup. (*I used 3 tbsp flour and I think it was too much). Stir in defrosted beef chunks.
Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add peas. Cook until heated through and sauce has thickened. Taste for seasoning.
I served mine on bowtie pasta because I like pasta with stews. But you could try quinoa, brown rice...anything else really :)
A stew is the ultimate comfort food and this one doesn't disappoint. The gravy is rich and thick and we wanted to eat the whole pot! I reckons the leftovers will make a GREAT pie. So that is what I'm going to do. If the gravy isn't pie-thickness I'll just reheat it on the stove with some cornflour or something, but I don't think it'll need it. Making leftovers into a pie with perhaps a steamed green thing on the side will stretch it out to at least 8 servings I think. Depends how much pie you can eat ;).
This reminds me a lot of something my mum used to make sometimes, except I remember disliking it immensely. Don't know why. I guess tastes change.
I would definately serve this to family, friends, anybody who enjoyed a good stew. If they didn't see me eating it I'm sure they would all think it was the 'real deal'. If you aren't a fan of fake meat, try using tofu, tempeh, muchrooms, or even a bean. I think mushrooms would be especially delicious (and much more accessible to everyone! I know not all of us live in a city with plentiful asian food marts.)