Friday, March 16, 2012

Irish Stew with Colcannon Dumplings

Vegan Irish food is few and far between but is not impossible and certainly does not need to be boring. This stew has a deep, rich flavor that is enhanced by using your favorite lager. Don't know which beers are vegan and which aren't? Here is a comprehensive list to help you out.
Colcannon is traditionally an Irish dish composed of mashed potatoes and kale. Here I made dense, yet soft dumplings studded with potato and greens that cook in the stew, soaking up all the flavor of the broth.

Colcannon Dumplings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbl vegan butter, cold
1/4 cup packed, shredded russet potato
1/4 cup packed kale, very thinly sliced strips
1/4 cup almond milk

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Crumble in the butter and use your hands to break the butter into tiny bits. Add the shredded potato and kale and mix to combine. Pour in the almond milk and stir to combine in a somewhat wet dough. Set aside and make the stew.

Irish Stew
5 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
8 oz seitan, medium sized chunks
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, medium dice
dried thyme, salt and pepper
1/2 white onion, medium dice
1 carrot, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cup lager
1 bay leaf
2 tbl ketchup
1 tbl vegan worcestershire sauce
3 cups mushroom broth
3 tbl chopped, fresh parsley

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add the seitan and mushrooms and sear over medium-high heat until golden brown, 5-7 minutes. Season with 1/4 tsp thyme, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cook 2 minutes more then remove the seitan and mushrooms from the pot. Add the onion and carrot to the pot along with 2 more tbl of olive oil. Season with more thyme, salt and pepper. Saute for 7 minutes until the onions start to soften. Add the garlic and toast for 2 minutes. Deglaze the bottom of the pot with 1/4 cup lager, scraping up any bits on the bottom. Add the bay leaf, ketchup, worcestershire, lager and broth. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Scoop the dumplings with a small ice cream scoop or spoon (about the size of a large gumball) and place in the stew, a couple inches part from each other. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 10 minutes. Flip the dumplings over and cook 5 minutes more or until the dumplings have cooked through.
Remove the bay leaf and garnish with parsley.

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