Monday, March 18, 2013


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This is the vegan Irish stew I prepare every St. Patrick's Day because that's what my husband asks for (and we love it).  I posted this photo on my Facebook page a couple of days ago, with a link to an older post which contains the recipe for the accompanying Colcannon (Irish mashed potatoes with kale and/or cabbage).  I promised to post the stew recipe, but I didn't get it up on St. Patrick's Day, or the day before, because we had to go off island, and then we had guests yesterday.  However, I am going to post it here today even though it's a day late.  After all, not only can you enjoy it next St. Patrick's Day, but you can also enjoy it any day of the year (why not?).

In addition, I posted a picture of our dessert, which is nearly always Irish Apple Bread Pudding with vegan Poured Custard (custard sauce) and Brown Sugar Whiskey Sauce.  The Poured Custard recipe is available on that same older post that I mentioned above (along with notes about British custard powder). So, I'm going to post that recipe here, too. (These recipes are adapted from my book "The (Almost) No-Fat Holiday Cookbook", BTW.)

Serves 6
This stew is entirely my own invention and contains such un-Irish ingredients as soy sauce and red lentils. But it has the taste and texture of a good brown stew (or "gypsy", as it's called in some Irish homes), and it's delicious served with Colcannon.
NOTE: If you don't want to use alcohol, use the darkest de-alcoholised beer you can find instead of the Stout (an Irish product that can be found in most liquor stores—see this post about vegan stout. UPDATE: And, hooray! Guinness is vegan now!)

2 cups reconstituted textured soy protein chunks, or cubes of seitan, or Gardein “Beefless Tips”
whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
1/4 cup unbleached flour
3 cups tasty vegan broth
1 cup water
1 cup Stout (or dark de-alcoholised beer) (See here about vegan stout, etc.)
2 cups thickly-sliced mushrooms
2 large carrots, scrubbed and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 cup diced peeled turnips or rutabagas OR 1 cup thawed frozen peas
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup red split lentils
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup soy sauce/tamari or low-sodium soy sauce (do not substitute Braggs for low-sodium-- it contains more sodium than this soy sauce)
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. Marmite or other yeast extract OR 4 tsp. red miso
1 tsp. sugar or alternate
1/2 tsp. EACH dried thyme, rosemary and marjoram
pepper to taste

Toss the soy protein or seitan chunks, or “Beefless Tips” in the whole wheat flour to coat.  In a large heavy pot heat the olive oil over high heat.  Add the breaded chunks and brown on all sides.  Remove from pot.  Add the onion slices and sauté over medium-high until they begin to soften, adding a few drops of water as necessary to keep from sticking. Add the flour and stir around thoroughly. Return the browned chunks to the pot and mix in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn down to low heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are done. Taste for seasoning. Serve with mashed potatoes, boiled or steamed potatoes, or Colcannon (mashed potatoes with kale and/or cabbage-- recipe here). 

Serves 6
In researching the cooking of Ireland, I've noticed that apple desserts take pride of place.  This is our favorite.

4 small apples (about 1 lb.), cored and sliced (peel only if the skins are unsightly or sprayed)
1/4 cup apple juice
8 thin slices of whole wheat bread (not a heavy bread), hard crusts removed (or use a wholegrain GF  bread)
2 tablespoons dried currants or raisins
1 3/4 cups non-dairy milk
1/3 cup light organic granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
A few scrapings of freshly-grated nutmeg
Brown Sugar Sauce:
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch (organic is available)
1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract OR 3 tablespoons whiskey
1 pinch salt
Custard Sauce (see recipe here)

Poach the apples in the apple juice in a covered skillet for 10 minutes.

In a lightly-greased 9" square pan, place 4 slices of bread, cut to fit the bottom of the pan. With a slotted spoon, place the poached apples over the bread and sprinkle with the currants or raisins . Top with the remaining bread slices.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soymilk, sugar, nutritional yeast, cinnamon, vanilla and salt. Pour over the bread and apples. Let sit for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375degrees F (soaking  the bread before baking is important).

Sprinkle the top of the pudding with cinnamon. Place the pan inside of a larger one with hot water in the bottom. Bake for 30 minutes. 

Make Brown Sugar Sauce while the pudding bakes: In a small saucepan, mix together all of the ingredients except the vanilla or whiskey. Bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla or whiskey. (If you want the whiskey flavor without the alcohol, add the whiskey at the beginning of the cooking time, so that the alcohol boils off.) Serve warm. 

When the pudding is baked, cool for at least half an hour, cut into 6 squares and serve with the warm Brown Sugar/Whiskey Sauce and Custard Sauce poured over it.



NBMaggie said...

Bryanna, your recipe ingredients make no reference to nootch but in the directions it appears some is used. Can you give me an idea how much? Thanks,

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Oops! I left it out inadvertently-- it's 1 1/2 Tablespoons. I'll add it in-- thanks for the heads-up!