There's a lot to enjoy about St. Patrick's Day, and it's not just because I'm part Irish. I love the green beer, festive parades with Irish dancers, and, of course, a big bowl of vegan Irish stew. There's one thing that makes this dish the ultimate comfort food: melt-in-your-mouth, fluffy herb dumplings!
Traditionally, Irish stew was made by stewing meat and root vegetables in a thick and hearty broth. My vegan Irish stew recipe may be meatless, but it still has an incredibly rich, deep flavor thanks to the chunky vegetables and a deliciously thick broth.
WHY WE LOVE THIS RECIPE
- A one-pot meal. The fewer pots and pans you need to wash after cooking, the better!
- Yummy as leftovers. Like most stews and casseroles, this vegan Irish stew tastes just as good, if not better, the next day.
- Filling. A delicious stew made of mushrooms, celery, cabbage, parsnip, potatoes, carrots, and topped off with dumplings makes for a very filling meal.
- Full of vitamins and minerals. This dish is loaded with nutritious vegetables like mushrooms, carrots, and parsnips.
Here's everything you need for a tasty bowl of vegan Irish stew:
- Veggie mix: carrots, cabbage, celery, parsnip
- Maple syrup
- Apple butter
- Kuzu starch
- Vegetable broth
- Dried thyme
- Beer: This adds a depth of flavor to the stew. Though I use non-alcoholic beer, you can keep it authentically Irish and use Guinness. Since 2016, Guinness changed their filtration process, and now the Draught, Extra Stout, and Foreign Extra Stout are vegan-friendly.
- Mushrooms: This vegan Irish stew recipe uses mushrooms to add meaty, earthy, savory flavors and a meaty texture to the dish.
- Vegetables: They create an aromatic flavor base, add texture, as well as deepen the final flavor of the stew.
- Apple butter: Together with the maple syrup, these two ingredients round out the bitter notes from the beer.
- Kuzu starch: Adding a slurry with kuzu starch (or cornstarch) thickens up the gravy and creates a glossy broth. In addition, kuzu has high levels of flavonoids. It also has several health benefits, including potentially reducing cold and flu symptoms and aiding in digestion.
STEP 1: FRY THE AROMATICS AND MUSHROOMS
Heat olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the minced garlic and chopped onions and sauté for 4-5 minutes until golden.
Add the quartered mushrooms. Cook and stir. Sprinkle some sea salt to help them release their moisture. Cover the pot with a lid and let the mushrooms cook for 1-2 minutes so that they soften up.
STEP 2: MAKE THE STEW
Add the carrots, celery, cabbage, parsnip, and potatoes.
Pour in the vegetable broth. Next, add the beer.
Add the dried thyme, maple syrup, and apple butter.
Bring the mixture up to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, dissolve the kuzu starch in cold water. Pour it into the stew and stir well until the mixture thickens. If you want a thicker broth, make some more kuzu starch paste and stir it into the stew.
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
STEP 3: PREPARE DUMPLING DOUGH
Remove the fresh rosemary leaves from the stem and roughly chop them up.
In a mixing bowl, add the gluten-free all-purpose baking flour, baking powder, sea salt, and chopped rosemary.
Pour in olive oil and almond milk.
Use a whisk to mix everything together.
STEP 4: ADD DUMPLING DOUGH TO STEW
Add spoonfuls of the dough directly to the broth. Allow enough room around the dumplings as they're going to expand as they cook.
Cover the pot and let the mixture bubble so that the steam cooks the dumplings. Gently flip the dumplings over after the first 10 minutes and let them cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Garnish the stew with chopped parsley and serve hot.
- Keep this stew chunky and rustic. Cut the parsnips, carrots, and celery into medium to large pieces, but never any bigger than a quartered potato.
- Waxy potatoes are best. They are high in moisture and low starch, which means they hold their shape well in soups and stews. Yukon Golds are semi-starchy and semi-waxy, making them a perfect choice for this dish.
- Stovetop trumps Instant Pot and slow cooker. While you can make this vegan Irish stew using an Instant Pot or a slow cooker, making it on the stovetop gives you more control over the timing of adding the vegetables (and, therefore, their texture in the finished dish). Furthermore, the stew can simmer in the pot uncovered, resulting in a thicker stew at the end.
- Use brown ale or red wine instead of stout. If you don't have Guinness or another dark stout, red wine or brown ale will work well flavor-wise.
- Swap mushrooms for other veggies. If you're not a fan of mushrooms, you can use zucchini, eggplants, or even tempeh.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is traditional Irish stew?
Known in Gaelic as stobhach gaelach, traditional Irish stew was made with the cheapest and most readily available ingredients in Ireland: mutton, potatoes, and onion. These ingredients boiled and simmered slowly for up to three hours.
It is not clear when stout beer became a meat tenderizer, fortifier, and flavor enhancer for the stew. The Irish will argue that using beef and stout beer does not make an authentic Irish stew. Therefore, you will find most Irish pubs offering both Irish Stew and Beef and Guinness Stew on their menus.
What is the difference between Irish stew and regular stew?
A typical stew is made with beef and thickened with a roux made from flour. On the other hand, Irish stew is typically made with mutton, onions, potatoes, and sometimes carrots, and has a vegetable broth-type consistency.
Can this stew be made gluten-free?
By using gluten-free all-purpose baking flour and kuzu starch instead of cornstarch, this recipe is gluten-free. Using nut- or plant-based milk for the dumplings makes this recipe dairy-free.
What's the best way to store vegan Irish stew?
Store the stew in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze it in an airtight container for up to 3 months. However, it's important to note that the texture of the potatoes and vegetables will likely be mushy when thawed.
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