If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you've probably figured out that I love Guinness Stew. In fact, I love it so much that I almost feel bad for vegetarians because they'll never be able to eat it - traditional Irish food isn't exactly vegetarian-friendly. Because of that, and because I had so much fun turning the Shepherd's Pie recipe I made a while back into a vegetarian recipe, I've decided to do the same for Guinness Stew.
If you don't like Guinness Stout, don't worry - the final product tastes nothing like the delicious dark brown beverage you would normally drink out of a tulip glass.
Vegetarian Guinness Stew
Adapted by Me
1 TBSP oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery
3-4 medium potatoes
large meat-y Mushrooms, cut up (definitely optional - I can't stand mushrooms)
1/2 - 1 cup unsalted cashews (optional, but trust me on this one. Cashews take on a meat-y texture when cooked)
Turnips or Parsnips, chopped (if you want to be extra authentic)
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 pint Guinness (use the cans - have a second can waiting in the wings, just in case)
1/2 - 1 cup vegetable stock
3 TBSP cornstarch
1 TBSP paprika
salt & pepper
1-2 tsp Kitchen Bouquet (found with the gravy seasonings - it IS vegetarian)
2 bay leaves
Cut onion into quarters, then slice thinly. Cut carrots into thin slices (I like to use a bunch of baby carrots). Dice the celery by cutting the stalks in half, lengthwise, and then in half lengthwise again. Chop into small pieces from there. Mince the garlic. Scrub the potatoes and cut into quarters or smaller. Set all aside.
In sauce pan large, enough to hold everything easily, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Add remaining ingredients (except potatoes), bring to a boil, reduce heat to low. Add potatoes, cover and simmer at least an hour.
If it starts to dry out or if you like a saucier stew, add more Guinness (half a pint or so). If you would like the sauce thicker, stir in 1 TBSP cornstarch dissolved in 2 TBSP water.
Add a lot of salt & pepper to taste. You also probably want to add some cayenne pepper, garlic salt, oregano, and paprika. Use your favorite combination, but I've found the above to give it the best flavor.
When ready to eat, remove bay leaf and serve. I suggest serving it over or with a thick bread or Texas Toast.