Vegan beef stew is the ideal hearty dish during the cooler months. This stew is savoury and filling with delicious vegetables like carrots, onions and mushrooms, all vegan and nut-free, slowly cooked in traditional ale so you can enjoy a proper pub-like meal.
Our vegan beef stew is the perfect comfort food. Not only it's easy to make but it's incredible for a cosy dinner, packed with veg and full of flavour. Having lived in the UK for over a decade, you can see why stews are part of our weekly meals. They are affordable and easy to make. Besides, you can make a lot of stew on Sunday and have quick lunches for a few days of the week. Traditionally, beef stew is made with beef and ale, but our vegan beef stew replaced the beef with strips of oyster mushrooms. The oyster mushrooms once cooked to perfection, will melt in your mouth. So delicious, you'll want to make this dish all the time!
The ale really brings out the flavours in the mushrooms, so you won't be lacking any flavour. So here's everything you need to know about making a delicious and healthy vegan beef stew.
Traditional vegan beef stew
Our vegan beef stew is made with shredded oyster mushrooms. Similar to the idea behind vegan pulled pork, you shred the mushrooms into nice long strips and you slow cook them. What makes this stew flavoursome is the ale so make sure you use a brand that you actually drinking. You can always use Guinness for a super deep flavour. Although technically an ale, Guinness is an Irish stout.
Stew is low-cost comfort food. It is believed that stew has been made from ancient times and what's interesting is that the oldest evidence of stew was found in Japan.
Our vegan beef stew is healthy, delicious and takes roughly 45 minutes to make. The star ingredients are mushrooms, carrots and ale.
What you will need
The star of this dish is the ale because that's what's bringing those "meaty" flavours to your mushrooms. Not to mention it makes the dish taste proper, as a beef stew should. If you can find a good quality British ale or Irish Guinness, you're 70% there with making this a successful vegan stew.
Next you'll need to get some beautiful oyster mushrooms. Your local supermarket will have some wonderful options, no doubt. You can use kind oyster mushrooms as well but they are usually more expensive.
For more flavours, we add some dried herbs to our stew like oregano, thyme and sage. You can use dried herbs or fresh ones. If you are feeling adventurous you can always add a little tarragon to your dish.
You'll also need carrots and onions, the base of every delicious and authentic beef stew. I know you are tempted to add potatoes, but did you know that traditionally, the beef stew doesn't actually contain anything else but carrots and onions? Some recipes add celery as an optional ingredient, but never potatoes!
Tips for making vegan beef stew
Is ale really the most important ingredient?
Always add the best quality ale to your stew. Something you'd actually drink if you wouldn't use it for cooking. This is the most important ingredient and the one that will give your beef stew its flavour profile. If you want a traditional Irish stew, then go for Guinness, always!
Can I use water instead of ale?
Not for this recipe. If you use water, you'll have to add vegetable stock and recalibrate all the ingredients. It will not taste like an authentic beef stew, so we recommend sticking with ale for this one. Some recipes add a mixture of wine and veg stock, but that is a great combination for coq au vin or Bourguignon and not beef stew.
Is this vegan beef stew healthy?
Oh yes it is! It's fantastic for you, given that the alcohol evaporates during cooking, so all you're left with is lots of vegetables with a lot of flavours, that melt in your mouth. It's brilliant for lunch or dinner and can be eaten any time of the year. It's so good, we've added it to our meal planner.
Can I use chestnut mushrooms instead of oyster mushrooms?
You can, but it will be a little more difficult to shred them. You want to have the same consistency as a slow-cooked beef, therefore I recommend sticking with oyster mushrooms. Best for this type of dish.
Do you have serving suggestions?
How to make vegan beef stew
Making vegan beef stew is super easy. This is an affordable dish that uses onions, carrots and mushrooms as solid ingredients. We sometimes like to add a little spinach to the dish and hence this is an optional ingredient.
You will also need garlic, 100g tomato paste, 500 ml ale, 500 ml water, oregano, thyme and sage. We used a local British ale but you can literally use any type of vegan ale you actually like to drink. Remember that your vegan beef stew will actually take its flavours from the ale you'll be cooking with.
Start the vegan beef stew by shredding the mushrooms. Using your fingers pull the oyster mushrooms apart until you get long thin strips. Set them aside.
Drizzle a little olive oil in a frying pan and fry the chopped onions until they become translucent. This can take anything between 5-8 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally so they don't stick to the pan. Add the chopped garlic and fry for another minute.
Add the shredded oyster mushrooms and the sliced carrots. Fry for a couple of minutes or so and then add the tomato paste, ale and water. Add the seasoning and the herbs and if using, it's time to add your spinach to the dish.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes stirring occasionally so the stew doesn't stick to the pan.
Enjoy hot with some crusty bread or with some carbs on the side. I like my vegan beef stew with crusty bread only.
How to store your vegan beef stew
You can make quite a lot of vegan beef stew in advance and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Warm it up on the hob on low-medium temperature for about 3-5 minutes until it starts bubbling up.
Stews are great dishes because they can last in the fridge for up to 5 days, especially this vegan version. You can also freeze it for up to 1 month but I recommend consuming it fresh as it tastes best.
If you want to make this vegan stew a little heartier, add 2 large, chopped potatoes to the dish.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.