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.
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.