Finn’s Post-Surf Irish Stew Recipe by Finn Ni Fhaolain

For me Irish stew is the epitome of comfort food, something my grandmother used to make. A warm hug in a bowl, perfect for these cold and drizzly winter months. Since trying to eat more plant based, I’d been tweaking this recipe at home. Still wanting that rich and moreish flavour, but without the meat.
I so look forward to being able to cook and eat with friends again (after so many
lockdowns!) serving this up to a big table, by a fire, to the happy chatter of people who’ve just spent a long day in the surf.

For friends I serve it with a can of Guinness each for the full experience and if you’re not intolerant to gluten you can even add some to the stew for real authenticity. As a coeliac I’ve left it out of the recipe, but if you ever find a good GF stout do let me know!

Serve 4-6
Ingredients

3-4 large rooster potatoes – peeled and roughly chopped (big chunks are good!)
2-3 large carrots – peeled and thickly sliced
1 large white onion – peel, cut off the ends and quarter, pulling apart some layers
1 veggie stock cube or 1 tbsp bouillon powder
1 full pack chestnut mushrooms
1 tbsp GF/vegan gravy (tasty and adds a bit of a “meaty” vibe, but not essential)
Some oil to cool (I use olive, I know I’m not supposed to!)
1 tin of haricot beans rinsed and drained
A few sprigs each of fresh thyme and rosemary and 2-3 bay leafs

Serve topped with some fresh parsley, a glass of your favourite stout and some thick sliced Irish soda bread (check out my recipe for GF/plant based soda bread on my website www.saltwaterstories.me if you feel like having a crack at making your own!)

Method

  • Prep your carrots, potato and onion and add to large pot
  • Cover with water and add your stock, gravy powder, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and a twist of pepper
  • Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes (or until potatoes and carrots are a little softer)
  • Rinse and drain beans and set to one side
  • Quarter your mushrooms (or leave smaller ones whole)
  • In frying pan on a medium high heat, add some oil and fry mushrooms for about 5 minutes. Only turn once or twice to allow them to caramelise on each side. If you have something like a George Forman grill, you can also light oil that and pop the mushrooms in there instead of in the pan
  • Remove the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves from the pot
  • Add the beans and mushrooms and stir through
  • Season to your taste
  • Serve garnished with some fresh parsley and lashings of soda bread for dipping

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