Irish Eyes Are Smiling on Vegan Irish Stew

| is blog belonging to a Canadian woman who now lives in England with her husband and four black cats. She’s been vegetarian since 1990 and vegan since 2003 because of her love of animals. All the recipes on her site are vegan. She writes about various subjects from time to time, including frugal living, gardening, and cats. Her husband wanted stew one day, so she got to work on this vegan version of an Irish classic. Here’s her description of how she came up with it.

“I decided to use the slow cooker, so it could cook happily away whilst I did other things. For the protein part of the stew, I used TVP chunks. I also sauteed the onions and garlic to enhance their flavour, before adding them to the slow cooker.

I found vegan bacon bits at ASDA a few weeks ago, and used them to add a bit of smoky flavour. Although I could really taste the bacon flavour at the start, it kind of disappeared into the other flavours of the stew by the time it was finished. But I’m sure they added a certain… je ne sais quoi. The cider in this recipe is what Americans will know as “hard cider” (i.e. alcoholic). I used Thatcher’s Green Goblin cider, which is medium-dry. I used low-salt bouillon (Marigold brand), so the stew needed more salt than if I’d used regular bouillon.

When the stew has cooked for, say, three or four hours, the texture of the TVP is still a bit sponge-like, but after a couple more hours, it becomes less spongy and more, well, meat-like I suppose.”

Slow Cooker Vegan Irish Stew

4 teaspoons olive oil (divided)
1 cup dry TVP chunks
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-1/3 cups vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
3/8 cup medium-dry cider
10 ounces potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks
2 small carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
3 tablespoons pearl barley
3 tablespoons vegan “bacon” bits
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon dried sage leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaf
1 bay leaf
spring onions for garnish (optional)

1. Heat two teaspoons of the olive oil and saute TVP chunks until lightly browned. Remove to slow cooker.
2. Heat remaining two teaspoons of olive oil and saute onion for 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Remove to slow cooker.
3. Make up vegetable bouilon with boiling water. Add nutritional yeast and stir to dissolve. Add this to the slow cooker along with the cider.
4. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker: potatoes, carrots, barley, vegan “bacon” bits and seasonings. Stir well.
4. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Makes two generous servings.

How about some Buttermilk Biscuits or some Cheese Biscuits or Croissants to go with that vegan Irish Beef Stew? You can find those recipes and 47 more exact clones of non-vegan recipes on Are You Sure That’s Vegan? (Breakfasts). All the dishes have been tested by non-vegans and passed with flying colors. Take a look at the beautiful photos in Are You Sure That’s Vegan? (Breakfasts). These dishes taste as good as they look! Get some free recipes, too.

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