This hearty vegan beef stew uses tender portobello mushrooms in place of meat, along with potatoes and veggies simmered in a savory herbed red wine broth.
It has been a weird season so far here in the northeast. Fall was freakishly mild. Christmas was downright balmy. Spring is in the air and the cherry blossoms are in bloom. In January. And it’s killing my allergies. I totally wasn’t ready for that. And then, about a week ago, I found broccoli growing in my backyard. No kidding! I didn’t even plant broccoli, at least not this year. It seems to have returned from a crop from 2014. Maybe broccoli does that? I don’t know – I’m a terrible gardener.
I got really excited when I found my January broccoli, just because it was so novel and all. It was only a little bit, mind you, like one little bite-sized baby floret, but I figured I’d let it hang and see if it got any bigger. Then it turned super freezing overnight, and my little broccoli bite froze. Bummer.
So it’s gone from hot to cold and back a few times since the whole broccoli ordeal of early 2016, but I’m excited to say the forecast is calling for ice pellets next weekend. I’m hoping the forecasters change their mind and make it snow before then. I know, my fellow Philly peeps are cursing me now, but I love a pretty winter snow and tend to feel ripped off if I don’t get at least one good one. Sorry!
Allow me to make it up to you with this stew. I’m all about the vegan comfort food recipes this winter (a kick that started with last November’s meatloaf recipe), and this stew is no exception. You know you want to curl up with a bowl of this stuff on a snowy night that preferably happens next Saturday, right? In any event, this was delicious, and this is coming from someone who didn’t like beef stew in her omnivore days. I think it was the beef part that I didn’t like, because a bowl of steaming hot potatoes, veggies, and in this case, portobello mushrooms (in lieu of beef) in a savory red wine broth sounds pretty much like heaven to me. It was.
One of the key ingredients to getting a super savory beef-stewy flavor out of this dish was Marmite. I hesitated to include this in the recipe, because I know lots of people will have to seek it out or order it online, so I made it optional…but also highly recommended. I seasoned my stew with Marmite towards the end, and it was plenty delicious beforehand, but afterwards it was amazing. If you’re at all inclined, I suggest you go for it, get yourself some Marmite and cook up this savory veggie stew.
Portobello Vegan Beef(less) Stew
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 lb. portobello or cremini mushrooms stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 2 carrots sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 lb. red potatoes chopped into 1-2 inch chunks
- 3 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1-2 tsp. Marmite optional, but highly recommended for savory flavor
- salt and pepper to taste
- Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until veggies begin to tenderize, about 5 minutes more, flipping occasionally with a spatula. Add red wine and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until wine is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, a bit at a time, until fully incorporated.
- Add broth, tomato paste, potatoes, thyme and rosemary. Stir to fully incorporate ingredients. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and veggies are soft, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a bit more water to the pot if mixture becomes too thick and starts to sputter.
- Season with liquid smoke, Marmite if using, salt and pepper. Serve.