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I have posted a beef stew before – my Easy Vegetarian (Vegan) Irish Stew for a Slow Cooker – from almost exactly three years ago but this current one is superior. It is superior due to my just getting better at vegan stews & a higher quality vegan meat. I am all about Beyond Meat – and I think it is the best on the market – but they don’t offer certain things. In this case – I wanted cubes of beef – and Beyond Meat only offers a ground beef. So – I decided to use both Beyond Meat’s Beefy Crumbles and Gardein’s Beefless Tips – which were wonderful in my Vegan Spicy Ginger-Garlic Red Pepper Beef Steak with Vegetable Fried Cauliflower Rice – seen just below. I used one bag of each in this stew. If you really want to ratchet up the presence of the beef – double up on one or both of these – or use your own favorite faux beef.
There are about an infinity of ingredients in this stew – most of which can be eliminated without a negative impact on this dish. I happened to have all but mushrooms, an onion & carrots on hand. If you are missing an ingredient or two (or three) – I think you will still like the results.
I used those vegetarian bouillon cubes above but I am going to stop buying them. They contain palm oil & an obscene sodium content so – I will be moving on to Better Than Bouillon, when my supply of these runs out.
I served my stew over mashed cauliflower. When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew. This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.
**NOTE – I made this in a slow cooker (on high) while I hiked. It was pretty much done when I returned 2 1/2 hours later. You could make this just as easily stove top – maybe in less time. Just bring to a boil & simmer until the veggies are cooked. To thicken it – return it to a boil. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew. It should thicken nicely. If not – do it again. Add water if it gets too thick.
Hearty Vegan Beef & Vegetable Stew for the Slow Cooker
Serves 6 or more
INGREDIENTS (VERY flexible – both in what you use & quantity)
Olive oil (or the cooking oil of your choice)
1 (9 oz) vegan ground beef (or more) – I recommend Beyond Meat
1 package (or more) of Gardein Beefless Tips (or your favorite vegan cubed steak)
1 onion – diced
2 Portobello mushroom – cut up (or whatever mushrooms you prefer)
4 carrots – sliced
2 jalapenos – diced (optional)
1-2 cups cubed white-fleshed potato of any variety (I don’t peel my potatoes)
1 small sweet potato – cubed (I don’t peel my potatoes)
2 celery stalks – chopped
4 radishes – cubed (I only used them because I had them so they are very optional)
2 tomatoes – diced (or a cup of canned diced tomatoes)
2-6 garlic cloves – minced
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dry red wine (optional) – or another cup of stock
6 oz lima beans (I used frozen)
1-2 cups peas (I used frozen)
1 cup corn (I used frozen)
1/4 cup pasta sauce (I used Rao’s but you can use your favorite or omit it)
1 TBS Bragg’s liquid aminos OR soy sauce OR tamari
1 TBS dry mustard
1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS Kitchen Bouquet (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)
Few squirts Maggi (seasoning available in the spice aisle or near gravy ingredients)
1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika
2 bay leaves
6 whole coves
1 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
1/4 cup corn starch (or more)
I really prefer slow cooker recipes that require ZERO prep. Recipes where you just dump the shit into the cooker & go away. But – I really wanted a stew-like flavor here so – I thought cooking the onions & bringing their flavor – & the flavor of the sauteed mushrooms were important. Also – browning the steak cubes assists in the visual presentation. You could certainly just dump it all in & would probably be just as happy with the result. Your call.
So – heat 2 TBS or so of oil & saute the onions & the beef cubes. When the onions start to brown. Add the garlic & saute one minute. Add the wine (or stock) and quickly deglaze the pan. Put this into the slow cooker.
In the same pan, add another TBS or so of oil & saute the mushrooms until they begin to sear. Deglaze the pan with a tiny bit of water & add the mushrooms to the slow cooker.
If you are going stove top – do the steps above & then put those things & the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into a huge stock pot, bring to a boil & simmer until the vegetables are tender – not more than 1/2 hour. To thicken it – return it to a boil. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew. It should thicken nicely. If not – do it again. Add water if it gets too thick. Season with S&P.
If you are slow cooking it – dump the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE CORNSTARCH) into the slow cooker & leave it covered & on high for 3 hours or so. To thicken it – remove the lid. Whisk 1/4 cup cornstarch into some hot water & add to the boiling stew. It should thicken nicely. If not – do it again. Leave the top off until it thickens. Add water if it gets too thick. Season with S&P.
Serve over rice or mashed potatoes or – as I did – over mashed cauliflower. When I was done eating – I mixed the leftover mashed cauliflower directly into the stew. This had the effect of making it seem thicker & denser – but it is just cauliflower – so it actually lightens the dish up.