Our oldest daughter was the biggest meat eater in our family before we went vegan. I would venture to say the transition to vegetarian and then vegan might have been hardest for her. She loved LOVED beef stew and I could always assume if asking her what she would like for dinner she was going to request beef stew or meatballs. So once we went vegan I knew beef stew was one of the meals she missed the most. I have tried this recipe without a meat substitute and like it just fine myself, but she still prefers a fake meat. I have used seitan which works well, but is a little extra work, and I have used store bought vegan. “beef” tips, which is her preference. The last brand I bought was so convincing that I was a little freaked out at how “beefy” it was. I could have fooled just about anyone with our last batch. I actually dug the package out of the trash just to double check that I wasn’t losing my mind and to make sure I had not grabbed the wrong thing at the store. So if beef stew was a pre-vegan favorite of yours, then you gotta try this recipe. If you don’t care for fake meats, then go ahead and leave it out. I promise it is just as good. I happen to prefer it that way as well. Either way, this stew deliciously satisfying vegan comfort food and perfect for warming you up in the fall and winter months.
1 red onion, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups red potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup button mushrooms, diced
1 bag frozen vegan “beef” tips or, 1/2 batch basic seitan
5 cups vegetable or mushroom broth
1 cup red wine, like merlot
2 teaspoons Vegetable Better Than Bouillon
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon all purpose seasoning, I like Trader Joe’s 21 season salute
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt to taste ( the Better than Bouillon and all purpose seasoning are pretty salty, so add salt to your liking)
You will need a large dutch oven or a pot that is oven safe.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the pot over medium heat on the stove top. Add the onions, celery, mushrooms, carrots, and garlic and sauté until the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes, better than bouillon, tomato paste and wine. Stir well and let the wine simmer for a few minutes.
preheat oven to 350 degrees, moving the top rack to the middle. You will need enough room for the pot to fit in oven
Add the remaining ingredients to the pot, stirring well. Bring the stew to a boil. Once the stew has come to a boil, place the lid on the pot and transfer the soup carefully to the preheated oven.
Allow the stew to cook in the oven for about half an hour. After half an hour remove the lid and give it a stir. Replace the lid but scoot it to the side a bit, where it is still on the pot but not fully covering it. Let stew cook for another 30 minutes.
Carefully remove the stew from the oven and place back on the stove top or onto a heat safe trivet. Remove the lid fully and allow the stew to cool just a bit before serving.
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