This one is for all my Northern Hemisphere friends. This last week the freezing fog has hardly lifted and the temperature has barely risen above 5*C. It’s days like these when I most crave my mother’s home cooking and go in search of veganising some of the memorable meals of my childhood. When it comes to comfort food there’s really only one option, “Winter (Stew) is Coming.” So whip out your Valyrian steel, cut your veggies down to size and enjoy a steaming hot bowl of brown.
I purposely haven’t cooked many stews since turning vegan. Most of the recipes I’m familiar with are very meat heavy and as yet I’ve found nothing plant-based to entirely satisfy the overall texture and flavours I want to achieve.
I’m very aware of how much my taste buds have altered in the last two years. This is mainly what encouraged me to stop focusing on all that would be lacking in a vegan stew and embrace its hearty goodness. As a warming, thick, vegetable rich stew this one ticks all the boxes. Would it fool my mother into thinking it was her recipe, no way, never. Will it see me satisfied through a cold Winters night, you’d better believe it.
If you can’t see the printable recipe card below go to the original post for the full recipe.
Ritual: Slow Cooked
Character: Warm and Comforting
Essence: Northern Winter
Free from: Nuts
- White potatoes - 800g - Diced
- Swede - 600g - Diced
- Carrots - 400g - Diced
- Red onions - 400g - Diced
- White mushrooms - 200g - Diced
- Pearl Barley - 300g - Soaked for approx 1 hour
- 4 Garlic Cloves - Crushed
- 2 Vegetable stock cubes
- 4 Tbsp Vegetable gravy granules
- 1 Tbsp Mushroom ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Steak or BBQ sauce
- 1 tsp Garam Masala powder
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Generous dash of salt and pepper
- Hot vegetable stock or hot water - Approx 4 litres
Cover the pearl barley in cold water and set aside until needed.
In a deep stew pot on high heat place a good pinch of salt, the swede and carrots in enough hot stock to cover them fully, approx 2.5 litres.
Once the pot has come to a full rolling boil, turn the heat down to medium and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Check the pot frequently, stirring to ensure nothing is sticking to the base and adding more hot stock as necessary to keep the vegetables covered.
After 30 minutes add the potatoes and allow to fast simmer for another 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes add the onions, garlic and stock cubes. Strain and rinse the pearl barley and add it before turning the heat to a slow simmer. Stir frequently for 15 minutes and top up with stock or hot water as necessary.
Add the mushrooms, garam masala powder and smoked paprika. Cook on a slow simmer for another 15 minutes.
Check the vegetables are cooked through and that the pearl barley is softened to your liking. It should be slightly chewy but not crunchy. By this stage the stew should be nicely thickened. Continue to cook as necessary until done. Stir and check every 5 minutes to ensure it doesn't overcook.
Once its ready turn off the heat and thoroughly stir through the mushroom ketchup, steak sauce, gravy granules and a generous pinch of salt and pepper.
This stew is much better if allowed to sit for a while and reheated before serving.
Serve with kale and hot fresh crusty bread.
I hope you enjoy it. Valar Dohaeris.