Seitan, porcini and root vegetable stew
This frigid week somehow shook me out of my lazy-blogger mode! The cold, and my resulting cravings, led me to create this deeply flavorful stew, which will warm the cockles of even the biggest meat-heads.
Vegans may hate me for saying it, but this really is reminiscent of beef stew. I used the same basic method, coating the seitan in flour and browning it, which later thickens the stew. I just had to add a lot more ingredients to create an equivalent gravy. I threw in the kitchen sink here – red wine, tamari, orange zest, cloves, paprika, rosemary and thyme. It’s the perfect backdrop for the root vegetables, mushrooms and seitan. And of course you’ve gotta have peas in a stew like this.
This is some serious comfort food. I can’t think of any better dinner to eat on the couch while I settle in for another TV binge-watching marathon.
4 tablespoons organic high-oleic safflower oil, divided
1 large onion, halved lengthwise then thinly sliced
8 oz. fresh porcini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 8-oz. packages seitan, drained and cut into bite-size chunks
½ cup flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup dry red wine, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari (or half tamari, half Worcestershire if you aren’t vegan)
4 cups vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3 medium-large), cut into large-ish chunks
2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 small turnips, peeled and cubed (or substitute parsnips)
3-4 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces (halve lengthwise if the carrots are very fat)
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
3 1-inch strips orange zest
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat in a large dutch oven. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Raise the heat slightly, add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for one minute longer. Remove to a bowl.
Place the flour and pepper on a plate. Add seitan and mix to coat.
Heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Add the setian, discarding any excess flour. Cook for 5 minutes, until seitan is nicely browned all over, stirring occasionally with a metal spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan each time. Remove to a bowl.
Add the wine to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes or until it has reduced by about half. Add remaining ingredients except peas, vinegar and seitan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste for salt and add as needed, and pour in more wine or broth if the potatoes aren’t covered enough by the liquid. Add the seitan and simmer another 20 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are tender. If the stew gets too thick, add more liquid as necessary. Add peas and vinegar, cook for two minutes, then remove bay leaf and serve.