A good rich stew is like cuddling next to the fire on a winter night – tongue cuddles, of flavor that is. And no other soup is more iconic than Beef Stew, so I knew I had to create a Vegan Beef Stew to stave off the cold winter months ahead.
Vegan Beef Stew – all of the tongue cuddles, none of the cruelty .
To be honest, I didn’t really have Beef Stew before going vegan. Still, there is something universally satisfying about dipping a piece of fresh crusty bread into a rich and hearty soup that can only be achieved with stews. Which is why this Vegan Beef Stew is just begging to be eaten alongside some hot rolls, flakey bread, or dense focaccio even. Dip, sip, slurp – no judgement here.
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So naturally, I set out to make a Vegan Beef Stew that was not only vegan and hearty, but also velvety and full of rich flavor from fresh herbs, red wine, and plenty of garlic. To mimic some of the deeper umami flavors brought out by slow cooked beef, I’ve also borrowed some Mushroom Sauce and Golden Mountain Sauce (a.k.a Maggie Sauce) from the asian pantry and I am so happy with the depth these sauces lend.
I also used Gardein’s Beefless Tips which were nice little nuggets of chewy goodness that provided another layer of meaty flavor; however, a mélange of mushrooms would do the trick here if you don’t swing that way or have limited availability. Try Portobello, Porcini, and Shiitake to get the rich earthiness you’d expect from meat for a truly plant-centric version of this dish.
I also like using my Dutch Oven for this recipe, because the heat is evenly distributed and allows all of the flavors to simmer together beautifully and evenly (you can also use any other large heavy-bottomed pot, if you don’t have one).
As far as the ingredients, fresh garlic is a must – you can use dry herbs if you’re in a pinch, but I highly recommend using fresh herbs if available. As far as the wine, any cheap red wine will do (I used a $5 Merlot) – do not use white wine, which is more acidic and lacks the deep flavor that the tannins in the red wine provides.
My policy on the quality of the wine is that if it’s good for the chef, it’s good for the pot. Use a reasonably priced wine that you can enjoy drinking while the stew simmers away.
Although this seems like a rather large serving, I like the idea of making this soup once and eating it throughout the week. Not to mention, the flavors tend to develop deeper in the fridge, and it can keep for up to a week in an airtight container. I also like to freeze the rest of the soup in freezer-safe Ziploc bags, so I can get a taste of winter any time of the year.
Give this recipe a try, and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
- 2 tbsp. Oil
- 1 package Gardein Beefless Tips(can be substituted for mushrooms, or even tofu)
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp. Rosemary
- 1 tsp. Thyme
- 1 tsp. Sage
- 1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 tsp. Salt (more, to taste)
- 2 tbsp. Tomato Paste
- ¼ cup Flour
- 1 cup Red Wine (I used Merlot)
- 2-4 Bay Leaves
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth/Stock
- 2 tbsp. Mushroom Sauce
- 2 tsp. Golden Mountain Sauce (aka. Maggi Seasoning)
- 2 medium Potatoes (Russet or Baking Potatoes)
- 3 medium Carrots
- 3 stalks of Celery
- 1 cup Peas, frozen or canned
- Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large pot or dutch oven on medium-high; add Beefless Tips, Mushrooms, or Tofu when the oil glistens, browning on all sides - remove and place on a paper towel for later
- In the same pot (leave all the burned bits for flavor), add an additional 1 tbsp. oil, followed by 1 medium Onion roughly chopped; cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat until they become translucent, before adding 2 tbsp. of minced garlic or garlic paste, cooking for an additional minute
- Add in all of the spices and herbs (Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, Salt, Pepper, Cayenne, Paprika) and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add 2 tbsp. of Tomato Paste, and brown for 2 minutes, stirring constantly; add the ¼ cup of flour and stir vigorously (it will start to clump, but keep it moving to avoid burning); cook the tomato paste, flour, and spices for another 1-2 minutes until everything is incorporated
- Add in 1 cup of Red Wine - it will immediately start to thicken; keep stirring the wine until all of the flour clumps are incorporated and it reduces almost by half
- Pour in 4 cups of Vegetable Broth, followed by 2-4 Bay Leaves, 2 tbsp. Mushroom Sauce, and 2 tsp. Golden Mountain or Maggi sauce; bring to a boil
- Chop 2 Potatoes, 3 Carrots, and 3 Celery Stalks roughly into 1 inch cubes (we want them to be as uniform as possible, so they cook around the same time); add veggies + Beefless Tips (or mushrooms or tofu) to the boiling soup, and reduce heat to a simmer
- Simmer the soup for 45 minutes to 1 hr., stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from burning - when the soup has reduced to the desired thickness and the vegetables are cooked through, add a cup of Frozen Peas and turn off the heat
- Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh Thyme alongside bread or over rice; once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or in freezer safe bags for up to 6 months in the freezer