Sometimes there’s no substitute for the flavor meat brings to the table. This seems to be especially true for soups and stews where the meat has a big chance to shine with its luscious goodness melting into the broth.
This past St. Patrick’s Day I made a beef and Guinness stew, and I also spun it off into a vegetarian tempeh version that had quite a bit of flavor in its own right.
I served it with a brown Irish soda bread and Guinness, as usual!
Here’s how I did it.
Ingredients for Both Dishes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1/2″ chunks
- 1 large potato, cut into 1″ chunks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 bottle Guinness
- 2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon, No Beef Base, Vegetarian
- salt and pepper to taste
Additional Ingredients for Beef Version
- 1 pound chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
Additional Ingredients for Vegetarian Tempeh Version
- 1 8oz package tempeh, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Additional 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon, No Beef Base
- Additional 1 tablespoon tomato paste
Preparing the tempeh and meat
- Mix flour on a large plate with salt and pepper.
- Dip tempeh in water and dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
- Heat 1/2 of the olive oil and 1/2 of the butter in a large stockpot or dutch oven until hot.
- Fry tempeh until brown on all sides. Remove from pan and turn off heat.
- Dredge meat in remaining flour.
- Heat remaining olive oil and butter in another large pot until hot.
- Sear meat allowing it to brown on all sides. Remove from heat.
- Returning to the pan where the tempeh was fried, heat the excess oil on moderate heat.
- Add mushrooms and onions and a pinch of salt until they’ve given off their liquid.
- Add carrots and potatoes, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute for 1 minute to meld the flavors.
- Add 2 tablespoons tomato paste and the spices. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove 1/2 of the vegetables (make sure to remove 1 of the bay leaves) and add it to the meat pan on medium heat.
- Add the tempeh back to the pan that contains only vegetables.
- Add 1/2 bottle of Guinness to both pans and scrape off all of the bits from the bottom of the pans.
- Add 1/2 of the water to each pan with the bouillon. Add the additional bouillon and tomato paste to the vegetarian version.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 1/2-2 hours until meat is very tender. Season with additional salt and pepper and serve.