08 October 2013

Crockpot Almost Irish Stew

We had a line of autumn storms move through here a couple of days ago. In their wake, they left perfect cool, fall weather. If you've been reading this blog for a while, you should be unsurprised that this cool weather leads us to soups and stews. I mean, they really are the most perfect foods! This particular stew is one that I've been waiting to post for a while, as there was a bit of groundwork necessary. Specifically, I had to make sure that you all (lovely readers, you) were comfortable with me talking about seitan.

This crockpot dinner is a fabulous fall or winter dinner. The only veggies in it are ones that you can easily get year round and the flavor profile is hearty and full of earthy tastes. In addition, putting seitan in the crockpot with some liquid gives the seitan such a wonderful texture. Plus, if you don't like seitan, you can simply switch it out for some beans (see the Helpful Hints).

Two quick blog-related items. First, I'm very sorry for my resent absence. I've been working hard and traveling a lot this semester. Neither of those things seem to be changing for the near future, but I promise that I haven't forgotten about LesVegan. Second, I've made a new page for vegan substitutions and am working on switching the links within recipes over to the new page. Eventually, the old substitutions post will go away, so if you stumble upon a broken link, please pass a message my way.

Finally, on an unrelated note: after dinner tonight we went for a walk to enjoy 60 degree temperatures, the crunchy leaves, and lovely evening ambiance. On our way out the door, we stopped to admire the lovely work the neighborhood squirrels are doing to one of the pumpkins we put out front. Apparently it's a delicious pumpkin (but the other one isn't...?). Who knows. I'm not distressed about the pumpkin consumption, as it has been fun to watch

Crockpot Almost Irish Stew
This recipe is adapted from the recipe of the same name in Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker (p. 73)
2 small to medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 c. carrots, peels and sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
10 smallish (a bit bigger than a golf ball) red or white potatoes, unpeeled and halved or quartered
2+ c. seitan, in approximately 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 c. broth from cooking seitan (or full-flavored veggie broth, like Better than Bouillon's "No Beef")
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. dry red wine
2 T. soy sauce
scant 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

1. The night before cooking or the morning of cooking, saute the onions in a bit of oil until soft. Add the garlic and saute for another minute or two.
2. Add all ingredients to the crockpot. The liquid should NOT cover all the ingredients.

3. Cook on low for 8 hours.
4. Discard the bay leaf and serve.

Helpful Hints
  • If you make my seitan recipe, 2+ cups is about half of the loaf. Regardless of what seitan you use, cut it in smaller pieces than you'd like to have while eating. As it cooks in the broth it will continue to absorb some of the liquid and grow in size a bit. 
  • Don't have seitan on hand or would rather not use it? Sub out the seitan for 1 can of beans of your choice (I'd recommend cannellini or another sturdy white bean). You may also want to cut the broth by 1/2 cup if you use beans. 
  • We serve this with crusty bread to sop up the last of the liquid in our bowls. So freaking good. 
  • INSTANT POT INSTRUCTIONS: This recipe works very well in the Instant Pot. Saute the onions and garlic using the "saute" function (adding the garlic when the onions are almost done). Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine. Set the Instant Pot for 10 minutes on the "manual" setting and then manually release the pressure. 
The post "Crockpot Almost Irish Stew" originally appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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