It would have been too easy to avoid all the savory meat recipes. I’m all about a challenge. Fall is almost here and it screams stew. I grew up with Irish stew. And I would pick out the meat. Go figure. This way, you can make it without the meat and extra veggies, add seitan or another meat analog. I used a mushroom based fake meat I found at the Chinese market. Chinese markets are great for fake meats. The husband totally eats them up too. I loved that this one was made out of mushroom and I used a mushroom bouillon instead of veggie. Turned out great! The mushroom meat was pre-flavoured with salt and pepper, which was perfect for this stew. I add the “meat” at the end with the peas since it is already cooked, so it really cuts the time down since I don’t have to do that 1 1/2 hours of cook time.

Rideau Irish Stew
pg 46, The Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook

Frozen peas modernize this old-fashioned favourite and the use of bouillon cubes eliminates the need for browning the meat. Both contribute to the delicious colour and flavour of this adaptation.

Trim excess fat from
2 pounds stewing lamb (use seitan or another meat analog)

In a large saucepan combine with:
2 1/2 cups water
2 beef bouillon cubes (veggie or mushroom bouillon)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon  pepper
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup sliced celery and leaves

Cover tightly and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (I didn’t bother with this step, but I stewed the veggies in this all at once. Keep an eye on it, you might need to keep adding water through the cooking time, I did)

Add:
3 carrots, quartered
1/3 cup sliced green pepper (forgot)
6 medium onions, sliced (I didn’t add that much)
6 medium potatoes, cubed

Simmer, covered 1 hour longer; during the last 15 minutes of cooking add:
1 package (12 ounces) frozen peas
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
(fake meat, don’t want to cook the heck out of it unless you’ve stewed your favourite meat of choice)

Drain broth into small saucepan. (I skipped this step and added the flour before I added the peas, parsley and meat. Made a gravy with the veggies in the pan, your mileage may vary, but I’m lazy)

Mix to a smooth paste:
3 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup water

Stir into broth. Cook over medium heat until flour is cooked and sauce smoothly thickened. Pour over meat and vegetables. Serve very hot.

Makes 6 servings.