Irish stew is one of the quintessential Irish foods. So, what makes an Irish stew Irish?
Traditionally, it has been made with lamb or mutton, and potatoes. The meats were stewed in cauldrons over an open fire for many hours until they became tender.
In my vegan Irish stew, the meat has been replaced with vital wheat gluten, which is a flour made from the protein part of the wheat plant.
What Is That Stew Meat?
The way I make my vegan stew meat is I mix the gluten with a few other things such as black beans, tofu, and seasonings.
After kneading and pressure cooking, I tear and cut it into bite-sized pieces and then dry it out in the oven.
When I’m ready to use it in a recipe, I simply add it into the sauce of what I’m cooking and it rehydrates with the perfect meat-like texture.
You can check out my vegan stew meat recipe here – it makes a large batch of stew meat. This recipe uses about a third of it.
Other Ingredients In Vegan Irish Stew
There’s also Guinness beer in my vegan Irish stew because… why not? Guinness has confirmed that their beer is not made with animal derived ingredients.
Just to put my little twist on the stew, I also included one small beet in the recipe. I have actually never eaten lamb or mutton before (or if I did, I don’t remember it), and I don’t plan to try it anytime soon.
But I did read up on what makes lamb/mutton taste different from beef. Apparently there’s a certain type of fatty acid present in it that humans can detect at very small levels.
One article I read described it as having an “earthy” taste, which is why I decided to include beets here.
I love the earthy taste of beets and the red color they impart in soups and stews, and I think they went great in the Irish stew. If you’re not a beet person, you can just leave them out!
Looking for the perfect St. Patrick’s day dessert? You’ve got to try my vegan Shamrock Shake!