Vegetarian Irish stew - just a few simple ingredients to make a simple, hearty vegan stew. Perfect for St Patrick's Day dinner!

Spring is so close, I can almost taste it – we even saw the sun for a few hours yesterday! But knowing this country, it probably won’t arrive properly for a few weeks yet, so I think I can probably squeeze in a couple more stews and casseroles before then. And with St Patrick’s Day just around the corner (17th March), I thought I’d come up with my own version of a vegetarian Irish stew (…in the name of the law).

Vegetarian Irish stew - just a few simple ingredients to make a simple, hearty vegan stew. Perfect for St Patrick's Day dinner!

I didn’t want my Irish stew to be overly wet – I love the way the tops of the potatoes and sausages crisp up in the oven. A few crispy bits can easily take a stew from good to great! So in order to get away with only having a fairly small amount of liquid in my stew, I wanted to get as much flavour into the broth as possible.

The trick: add beer!

Expedia have recently put together a map of the best regional breweries in the UK and Ireland, so I used one of their beer choices in my Irish stew. I’m not a beer expert, but if an actual beer sommelier tells me something’s a good beer, I’m inclined to believe them. There are tons of lovely sounding beers detailed on the map – I used a beer called Summit from the Hillside Brewery in Gloucestershire. Not exactly Irish, but it’s a nice dark beer that adds a ton of flavour to the Irish stew broth.

It’s described as having ‘rich malty flavours, deep caramel notes and a hint of toffee and chocolate’. Again, I’m no connoisseur, but in my eyes a dark beer is the best way to add lots of deep flavour without having to add too much liquid, so Summit was the perfect choice.

Vegetarian Irish stew - just a few simple ingredients to make a simple, hearty vegan stew. Perfect for St Patrick's Day dinner!

Along with some meaty chunks of vegetarian sausage (choose a good quality, flavourful kind!), potato, carrot, celery, and a few other simple ingredients, it makes a lovely simple, hearty stew.

Many of our traditional British dishes were developed during periods of wartime rationing, so they’re based on cheap, filling ingredients that can easily feed a crowd. Various famines and invasions (mostly by the English, but let’s not open that can of worms right now) have meant that a lot of Irish food is built on the same principles – and this simple Irish stew is the perfect example. It’s very straightforward, but a few tasty aromatics make sure it has plenty of flavour.

Vegetarian Irish stew - just a few simple ingredients to make a simple, hearty vegan stew. Perfect for St Patrick's Day dinner!

Serve it up with a good hunk of crusty bread (Irish soda bread, maybe?) for mopping up the bowl, and another big glass of Summit ale on the side, and you’re sorted – the perfect St Patrick’s Day dinner.

And don’t forget to check out some of the other lovely British and Irish beers on the Expedia map while you’re at it! I obviously can’t enjoy tasting them for another few months yet, but I’m sure my husband will enjoy working his way through the list on my behalf.

Vegetarian Irish stew - just a few simple ingredients to make a simple, hearty vegan stew. Perfect for St Patrick's Day dinner!

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4.86 from 7 votes

Vegetarian Irish stew

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 vegetarian sausages
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 large sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (~ 4 cups)
  • 150 ml dark beer (~ 1/2 cup)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the vegetarian sausages according to the instructions on the packet, probably around 20 minutes in the oven.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large casserole pot (or, if your pot can't be used on the hob as well as in the oven, start it off in a large saucepan). Add the chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and potatoes, and cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the onions are fairly soft.
  • Add the vegetable stock, dark beer, bay leaf and dried thyme, and season with plenty of black pepper.
  • When the sausages are cooked, cut them into chunky pieces, and add to the stew.
  • Cover the stew with a lid, and place in the oven at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 1 hour, or until the vegetables are nearly entirely cooked. If you want, cook uncovered for a further 20 minutes or so, until the tops of the vegetables are slightly crispy.
  • Remove the bay leaf and serve hot.
Author: Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche

 

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/4 of the recipe.

Got a dash of beer left over? It makes great batter – I’d recommend beer battered halloumi!

Beer battered halloumi