If you are looking for a rustic, earthy, flavorful but meatless stew, then you're in luck! I've got a vegan Irish stew recipe that meets all those requirements. It's made with traditional Irish stew ingredients like potatoes, onions and carrots, but with a twist. Baby portobello mushrooms give the stew a meaty texture and a burst of savory umami flavor. The stew is simmered in a broth made with Guinness beer and vegetable stock. The end result is a thickened broth, full of hearty vegetables that is comforting, healthy and delicious.
What is Irish Stew?
Irish stew is a stew that dates back to the 1800's where peasants would cook mutton (sheep) in a stew of root vegetables like potatoes along with onions and sometimes carrots, over an open fire after a long cold day in the fields. You can imagine how comforting and economical this was for Irish peasants who relied on these types of stews for energy and sustenance.
My goal was to recreate this traditional meal for current times, while also keeping some of the traditional elements of the stew.
First, let's start with the beer. I've never been to Ireland, but I've heard that you'll probably be hard pressed not to find an Irish stew that's been simmering all day in Guiness beer on just about every pub menu. I found a little goes a long way, especially in a stew made of vegetables. As the beer cooks down it develops a rich, roasted flavor. Flour added at the beginning of cooking will help to thicken the broth into that classic stew consistency.
I experimented with a few different types of mushrooms to replace the meat in this recipe. The meaty and firm texture of mushrooms is a great replacement for meat, especially in soups and stews. Portobellos were my favorite, but you could also use white button mushrooms as well.
Unpeeled baby yukon gold potatoes were delicious in this recipe. I left them unpeeled to keep with the rustic theme of the stew. They're not too starchy and after simmering are super creamy and tasty!
In keeping with the Irish theme, I used kale to brighten up the stew. I love adding greens especially to soups and stews because they're so nourishing and easy. Kale is added in at the very end of cooking and off the heat, so the leaves maintain most of their color and texture.
Bay leaves, rosemary and thyme help give the dish that classic stew-like flavor.
What to Serve with Vegan Irish Stew
This stew is satisfying all on its own. But, I do like to serve it with Irish soda bread or a fresh loaf of rustic multigrain bread. I have also added in beans which go really nicely especially if you want an even heartier meal. You could also serve a side of sautéed cabbage or a green salad. A tall cold glass of stout beer would be totally fitting as well. Cheers or should I say, sláinte!
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also like my Autumn Squash and Mushroom Soup.
For more vegan Irish recipes check out these at Forks Over Knives.
Vegan Irish Stew
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 cups or 6 small carrots cut into one inch chunks
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 cups baby portobello mushrooms halved
- 4 tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups baby yellow potatoes halved
- 2 cups kale stems removed
- 1 cup Guinness stout beer
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- coarse salt
- freshly ground pepper
- In a large dutch oven or soup pot, heat the oil on medium high heat.
- Add the onion, carrots and celery and season with a pinch of salt.
- Saute for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the garlic and saute one minute.
- Add the tomato paste and saute until combined.
- Add the flour and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the mushrooms and season with another pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add in the beer and broth and stir everything together.
- Drop in the bay leaf, and season with the rosemary and thyme.
- Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes uncovered until the stew becomes thickend and vegetables are thouroughly cooked through.
- Once the stew is cooked, turn off the heat and add in the kale.
- Season with additional salt and pepper if needed and serve.