Autumn arrives, the temperature starts to dip and we start to drag out our winter jumpers, our style of meals starts to change too. We begin to require those comforting meals that warm our bodies and souls. One meal springs to mind more than any other, a great big pot of stew and dumplings.
My mum made a fabulous beef stew and I remember we all fought over second helpings. Times change and I wanted to make a rich and hearty stick-to-your-ribs stew with lovely fluffy dumplings, I hope you like it. It is
Potatoes For stew you need a waxy potato, one that will not break down and disappear. Maris Piper, red potatoes such as Albert Bartlett, Golden King or Charlotte potatoes.
Swede Do not add more than it says in the recipe or your stew will be too sweet.
Additions If you want to add some chunks to your stew to resemble beef then do so, just make sure they fit the right dietary ingredients. TVP natural soya chunks make a great addition, just follow how to cook and add them to the stew at the start of the cook. You could soak them in stock.
Hearty Vegetable & Ale stew with Dumplings
- Serves 4- 6
- Preparation time 15 Minutes
- Cooking Time 45-60 Minutes
- Cooked on the hob
- The Beer If you vegan and are not coeliac then Guinness is your best bet here, as it is now vegan. If you want one that’s also gluten-free you have to dig a little deeper. below is a list of beers that are both gluten-free and vegan.
- Wild Craft Brewing, all of their beers are gluten-free and vegan.
- Skinny IPA gf & vegan
- Northern Monk’s Death ( my favourite)
- Hepworth Conqueror Sussex stout gf & vegan
You could leave out the beer or use an alcohol free one, If you do leave it out you would have to replace it with stock. The flavour will be very different.
2. There are so many vegan stocks available, just make sure you use a good one or a homemade stock. below are some I think are excellent for stew.
- 1. Massel plant based beef style stock powder Amazon gf and vegan
- Massel beef style stock cubes Amazon gf & vegan
- Knorr vegetable stock pots gf & vegan
- Mari Gold vegan bouillon
3. Marmite is not gluten-free, there are other options such as
- Meridian do a free from yeast extract.
- Miso is also a good alternative but I would use just 1 tsp
- Natex also has a gluten-free yeast extract, this is the one I use.
- In a large Dutch oven pot or a large saucepan add and heat 1 tbsp of oil and 1 tbsp of butter.
- Add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the onions for 5 minutes on a low heat, you want the onion to soften and turn a light gold colour.
- Next, add the sliced garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Now add the celery and the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir in, cook out the flour for a few minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add the marmite, tomato puree and Worcester sauce and stir through.
- Pour in the beer and turn the heat up and let simmer for 10 minutes, using a spatula stir and scrape the bottom to stop anything sticking. Then pour in the stock
- Next, add the swede, potatoes and herbs with another pinch of salt &pepper. Give one last stir add the lid and cook on a low heat for 45 minutes, checking occasionally.
- While the stew is cooking it is time to make the dumplings
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients apart from the water and stir through. You need to add a little water at a time and carefully bring the dough together either using your fingers or a round-edged knife. Do not over mix and the dumplings will be tough. You want the dough to be slightly tacky, not dry. Roll roughly into small balls ( they will swell). You can make them bigger if you like. Place on a plate dusted with flour and cover with a damp tea towel and place into the fridge.
- Once the stew has been cooking for 45 minutes have a taste test and check the seasoning and adjust if needed, also how thick is it. Some people like their stew thick and others prefer them more soup like.
There are two ways you can thicken the stew.
1. You can use a cornflour slurry, to make this mix 1 tsp of cornflour with 1 tbsp of water and then add to the pot and simmer for two minutes.
2 .You can take a ladle of the stew and add to the blender until smooth and then stir back into the stew.
If you are serving the stew up right away then it’s time to add the dumplings
. You can cook them in two ways. You can add them to the stew and with a lid on cook them for approximately 20 minutes and then test to make sure they are cooked. I normally remove one and cut into it to see if it is not doughy inside. if it is you can return to the pot. or you can bake them ( I love them baked).
To do this you can place them on top of a ladle of the stew in an oven proof dish and place them in a preheated oven set at 190C and bake for 15 minutes.
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If you like this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://wwwfacebookcom/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of my recipes Or I would love to hear your comments