10 March 2014

Hearty Seitan Stew

My mom often made lamb stew when I was a kid.  I don't remember it being super flavorful, as is often the way with traditional Irish food, but I enjoyed its reliability and variety of textures.  

I've made stews before but this one is a definite improvement on my previous attempts.  Once again, I was snowed in and craving this wintery dish.  And since I am a grocery-shop-aholic, I had everything I needed to make this recipe.  Here is that recipe complete with my own tweaks.  Instead of putting potatoes in the stew, I boiled little ones whole and served them on the side.

1 lb. seitan, cut into bite sized chunks (recipe calls for homemade, but I didn't have THAT much time!)
2 Tbs. oil (I used sunflower)
3/4 cup flour

Put the flour into a bag, dump in the seitan chunks and give it all a good shake.
In a deep pot, bring the olive oil to frying temperature
Brown the seitan until it resembles beef that's been lightly fried

Turn off the heat and add to the pot:
4 large carrots, cut into 3/4" pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" pieces
1 large celery root, cut into 3/4" pieces
1 large onion, sliced thin so it will nearly disintegrate into the gravy this recipe automatically produces
2 small bay leaves or 1 large one
1 garlic clove, minced

In a large measuring cup place:
1 1/2 cups of hot broth, vegetable or no-beef broth
1 tsp. Annie's Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian)
1 Tbs. Kitchen Bouquet (in the spice aisle and vegan; it adds a great beefy taste)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
Pinch of ground cloves (don't leave this out; it's what gives this stew it's extraordinary taste)
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of hearty red wine (I use Burgundy)

Stir the liquid to distribute everything evenly, then pour it over the seitan and vegetables. Cover the pot and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the vegetables are fork tender.

It would be filling even without the potatoes on the side.  And without potatoes, you can feel ok about serving it with some awesome bread to sop up the delicious sauce.

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