the taste space

Beefy Portobello Mushroom and Cranberry Stew

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) by Janet M on January 24, 2013

I have been searching for a hearty, meaty (yet vegan), filling stew.

I had early success with mushroom bourguignon, but wanted something lighter, with less oil and flour. I tried recipe after recipe, without avail. Beet bourguignon did not satisfy. Beans bourguignon from 1000 Vegan Recipes was ok but not quite up to my high standards. Seitan-less Burgundy Stew with Parsnips from Big Vegan was not my favourite either. I almost gave up…

And then this treat popped out of nowhere.

After my success with baked (fresh) cranberries in the stuffed carnival squashes and roasted balsamic curry fall vegetables, I began exploring other savoury ideas for fresh (or frozen) cranberries. I stumbled upon Bryanna’s Mushroom and Cranberry Stew and was immediately intrigued. I don’t normally cook with TVP but had picked up some large chunk TVP at some point. Might as well use it and clear out the pantry, I mused.

I hadn’t really thought this was a bourguignon. However, it has a lot of similar flavours: red wine and sherry, carrots, thyme, mushrooms. No tomatoes, though and no need to use a thickener. TVP was used as a meat mimicker, texture only. I think a large bean could substitute if you are averse to TVP. The real beefy flavour came from Marmite. A yeasty, salty spread that Kiwis adore. The lovely twist in this recipe came from the fresh cranberries. Pleasantly tart, not sweet, but complemented the beefy stew incredibly well.

I will happily curl up with a bowl of this over the winter months.

This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays and to this month’s Simple and in Season.

Beefy Mushroom and Cranberry Stew
Adapted from Vegan Feast Kitchen

1.5 cups large-chunk TVP (similar to this)
3 cups water or vegetable broth (I used 1.5 tbsp Chicky baby seasoning with 3 cups water)
1 tsp low-sodium tamari
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, sliced
8 oz Portobello mushrooms (4 large caps), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup red wine
8 oz carrot (4 carrots), thickly sliced
1 cup fresh (or frozen) cranberries
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Marmite
1 tsp dried thyme

1. In a medium saucepan, bring water/broth and tamari to a boil and add TVP. Simmer for 5 minutes, turn off heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, until water is absorbed. Not all the water will be absorbed. Keep that liquid, it was around 2 cups for me.

2. Once the TVP has cooled slightly, squish it dry and panfry it in a medium non-stick skillet until browned on all sides.

3. Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, around 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add in the mushrooms and saute until browned. Deglaze with the sherry and red wine. Add in the carrots, cranberries, balsamic vinegar, Marmite, thyme and the reserved broth from the TVP. If you do not have 2 cups, add more vegetable broth. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, until the flavours have melded. Add in the browned TVP when it is ready and continue to simmer to infuse the flavours. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4.

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26 Responses

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  1. Samantha said, on January 24, 2013 at 9:07 AM

    This sounds amazing! For a hearty winter “beefy” stew alternative, I also highly recommend the Cholent in Veganomicon… :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Thanks for the tip! I have had that bookmarked for a while, so I may dig out the ingredients this weekend. :-)

  2. Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table said, on January 24, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    Your description of this had me salivating. I need to go get some sherry and make this. Love the marmite idea!

  3. Cathy said, on January 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

    I think I’ll try this with seitan instead of TVP!

  4. Joanne said, on January 24, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Sounds like a delicious hearty stew to me! It would stop bourguignonne dead in it’s tracks.

  5. MeShell said, on January 25, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Oh wow, that looks so hearty and delicious. Perfect for the recent chilly weather! I like the marmite idea… especially since I kind of just want to get rid of my jar! ha ha. :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      I couldn’t imagine using marmite as a spread… but in a stew, it takes on a life of its own! Let me know how you like it. :)

  6. Colette @ JFF! said, on January 25, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Love the cranberrires – a very unusual!

  7. narf77 said, on January 25, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    If you were going to say…try to fool someone that something was meat filled for instance…this dish would be the go-to recipe to do it! I could be that vegan wolf in meaty-sheeps clothing at a native Tasmanian bbq with this baby! I am SO saving this for my winter posterity :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 27, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Haha, you are too funny. It is a shame we are enjoying opposite seasons.. I constantly pine summer produce but this is nice, too. :)

  8. Hannah said, on January 25, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Ah, this looks so so good! I’m horrified by the inclusion of Marmite, though. IT’S AUSTRALIA DAY ON SATURDAY JANET. VEGEMITE. VEGEMITE IS THE WAY OF JOY.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 27, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Haha, you are too funny. Do you actually eat Vegemite as a spread? OMG!!! (Rob likes it. He was converted after backpacking through Australia and eating frugally).

      • Hannah said, on January 31, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        I actually totally don’t know what you mean by that question! How else would you eat it? (I mean, I do eat it in other weird ways, but of course it’s a spread?)

      • janet @ the taste space said, on January 31, 2013 at 7:32 PM

        hehe, is it normal to eat it plain? just bread and vegemite? or do people add other toppings? :)

  9. Kristy said, on January 26, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    I love the idea of bright little cranberries adding a pop of flavor to a savory stew! This sounds wonderful- and good lord, I love mushrooms! :-)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 27, 2013 at 11:32 AM

      I have a feeling this blog may turn mushroom-centric in the new year. Mushrooms are plenty cheap at the Asian grocer next door, so I keep adding them to my meals. At least I know this won’t turn you off… can’t say the same for my Mom! HA :)

  10. Deb in Hawaii said, on January 28, 2013 at 2:44 PM

    This looks so hearty and good. Love the cranberries–so much flavor. Thanks for sharing it this week at Souper Sundays. ;-)

  11. [...] may or may not have given me the nudge to use up the last of my TVP that had been languishing in my pantry. I bought it planning to make Cara’s Pumpkin [...]

  12. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on January 29, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    This looks absolutely perfect for the terrible weather we’ve been having here! Hope you are staying warm my dear :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      Everything is melting now, Gabby!! We didn’t even go snowshoeing while there was snow (although Rob went snowboarding). I am sure the snow will return, though…

  13. [...] Janet, a staunch Simple and in Season supporter, who blogs at The Taste Space, sent across her Beefy Portobello Mushroom and Cranberry Stew, another great idea if you are reducing your meat intake or are looking for vegetarian [...]

  14. […] I had no red wine, and I thought Marmite would have been a good substitute since I loved it in my Beefy Mushroom and Cranberry Stew. However, with no Marmite here, I devised a fun substitute: miso and nutritional yeast. I figured […]


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