Vegan Irish Stew.
I love Vegan Irish Stew.
It’s so comforting, filling you up with warmth and brimming with nutritious goodness.
It’s also an inexpensive meal, utilises everyday ingredients, and is quick to prepare.
Irish stew is a staple go-to-meal with my family especially during the autumn and winter months.
We lived in Northern Ireland for some time so we love Irish Stew! Albeit with no meat added.
Short History of Irish Stew
Irish Stew as the name suggests originates from Ireland!
However, in today’s globalized world people all over the planet enjoy steaming-hot bowls of Irish Stew.
Traditionally, Irish Stew is prepared using mutton or lamb, and potatoes.
Possibly with the odd carrot or two thrown in.
Since the 16th Century, the potato has been Ireland’s most popular food staple.
Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) returned from exploring the Americas with the first potatoes!
It is believed Raleigh was the first to plant potatoes in his home garden in Cork, Ireland.
Combining mutton and potatoes made for an economical and filling dish.
Sustaining many poorer families for centuries.
A shortage of potatoes was disastrous for the Irish population during the 1845-1849 potato famine.
Nowadays, the humble potato is still centre stage within cuisines around the world.
With my vegan Irish stew, instead of meat, I have used dried soya chunks.
Dried soya chunks are a type of textured vegetable protein (TVP) that is usually made from one ingredient: defatted soya flour.
Soya chunks are not the most appealing looking ingredient.
But seriously, they actually taste good if prepared properly.
The chunks soak up any liquid or sauce flavour that you add to the dish.
So the chunks are quite versatile.
I prefer using soya chunks for stews and ‘steak-less’ pies.
While fresh or frozen ‘meatless’ chunks taste better in curries and hotpots.
However, just use whatever meat alternative your family enjoys. It will all work.
Vegan Irish Stew:
(Please note Update: Vegetable oil is used in this recipe but nowadays I limit my family’s oil intake for health reasons. Instead I use a little vegetable stock, or left-over vegetable cooking water, to sauté the onions and garlic, etc., in and then when they are soft I proceed with the recipe). Just enough stock or water to sauté the vegetables in, add a tad extra if the stock dries out. I have not even noticed a major difference in flavour. But the reduced calories, seeing as a tbsp of oil has about 120 calories, is a welcome bonus).
Vegan Irish Stew
- Large Saucepan/Stew pan
- Wooden spoon
- Stove top
- Chopping board
- Vegetable knives
- Measuring jug
- 100 grams Dried soya chunks Alternatively use 300 gms of fresh/frozen vegan/vegetarian meat-free chunks/pieces such as 'steak' Quorn pieces. Cooking time will be less, stew until potatoes and carrots are soft.
- 500 grams Potatoes Chopped into chunk size pieces. I tend to leave the skins on if they are unblemished.
- 2 medium Onions Chopped into chunks.
- 3 cloves Garlic Rough chopped.
- 2 Medium-Large Carrots Chopped into chunks.
- 1 1/2 tbsp Cornflour Well mixed with 3 tbsp water.
- 2 cubes Vegan/Vegetarian stock cubes
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 Bay leafs (optional)
- 1 1/2 litres Boiling water
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil in the saucepan.
- Add the onions and over a medium heat, saute for around 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and saute for another 3 minutes. Stir frequently.
- If the onions or garlic begin to stick to your pan, you can add a little extra oil or a little boiling water. Boil a kettle and prepare a measuring jug. You need 1 and 1/2 litres of water.
- Add the soya chunks. Stir for a few minutes.
- Add the carrots and potatoes and mix well.
- Crumble in the stock cubes. Add the bay leaves.
- Measure out 1 and 1/2 litres of boiling water and add to the pan.
- Turn heat to high. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat to low-medium.
- Stew for 45 minutes if using the dried chunks. And about 25 minutes if using frozen or fresh chunks/pieces.
- Prepare the cornflour and water mix. Pour into the stew. Stew for a further 5 minutes to cook out the flour and allow the stew to thicken up a little.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ready to serve!
- Irish stew in my opinion tastes so much better the next day. All the flavours have had a chance to meld and settle. My son usually has the leftovers, if any, the next day for lunch with some bread to soak up the delicious stew liquid.
- Next time I make Irish stew, I am going to double the ingredients to ensure more leftovers for the next day!
- The dried soya chunks that I used did not need to be soaked in water to hydrate before using. On the packet it states to cook in the cooking liquid for 40 minutes. Some soya chunks may require soaking, so check your packet.
- This recipe is vegan and vegetarian friendly. It would be easy to make gluten-free. But stock cubes, the meat substitute and the cornflour would need to be checked carefully to ensure the ingredients are gluten-free.
- Irish stew should keep fresh for up to 3 days stored in a sealed container within a refrigerator.
- Instead of using cornflour, a few tablespoons of gravy powder could be substituted. Check the ingredients for your specific dietary requirements.
- A dash of brown or tomato sauce is a tasty addition to your prepared bowl of Irish stew. Again be careful with ingredients if it needs to be gluten free, or vegan, etc..
- A yummy serving suggestion for the Irish stew is homemade Scottish Oatcakes and a wedge of plant-based cheese. Or dairy cheese if your vegetarian (though ensure dairy cheese is rennet-free). Find my Scottish Highland Oatcake recipe here
Check out my Scottish Oatcake recipe. Perfect accompaniment for vegan Irish stew.