Vegan stew in rich brown gravy with chewy shiitake mushrooms is comfort food at its finest. Everyone needs a good old-fashioned winter stew, right? Meat-eaters and vegans alike will enjoy this straightforward recipe.
This delicious, warming, slow-cooked meal will satisfy all your cravings with its robust flavors and chunky vegetables. Add Pull-Apart Honey Yeast Rolls or Easy No-Knead Bread with a green salad and you can be sure no one will leave the table hungry.
High-quality, whole dried shiitake mushrooms will be crisp and fat with edges that curl in towards the center. Look for short stems and pale gills. Sliced mushrooms are generally of poor quality and don't work for this recipe.
Vegan stew ingredients
Hearty vegetables and herbs
Seasonings for brown gravy
- Shiitake mushrooms - High quality dried whole shiitake mushrooms make all the difference.
- Fresh rosemary - The signature herb that gives the stew memorable flavor.
- Dried bay leaf - California bay if you can find it.
- Mace - The secret spice for this stew. If needed substitute coriander powder.
- Tamari - Gluten-free soy sauce alternative packed with savory umami.
- Flour - Thickens the smooth brown gravy while it bubbles in the oven, gluten-free is fine.
- Vegan worcestershire sauce - Plant-based and additive free.
- Kitchen Bouquet - Made from vegetables. Adds a natural deep brown color to the gravy.
- Fresh parsley - Added just before serving for the final splash of flavor.
Dried mushrooms can be transformed into the most marvelous substitute for beef in vegan stew. The trick is to choose quality, whole shiitake mushrooms and rehydrate them into juicy, flavor bombs.
You can soak mushrooms by one of two methods for great results. The first method is preferred. However, the second method is fine when you have less time.
- Long soak - Place mushrooms in a jar twice their volume. Fill the jar with cool water, submerge the mushrooms and top off water to the very brim. Screw on a lid, and soak 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Shake the jar once or twice to distribute mushrooms while soaking. This method preserves the most umami in the mushrooms themselves while restoring a buttery texture.
- Quick soak - Place mushrooms in a heat-proof jar and cover with them with boiling water. Submerge the mushrooms and fill the jar to its brim with boiling water. It's important that all the mushrooms stay underwater. You can use a glass or small jar that fits just inside the soaking vessel to keep them wet. Let mushrooms sit for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Mushrooms won't be quite as soft or retain as much flavor with this method, but it's perfect for when you haven't planned ahead.
- Brown mushrooms. Pre-soaked, plump and chewy mushrooms are seasoned, dredged in flour, and browned in a skillet until the edges crisp and turn golden.
- Make gravy. Next onions and garlic are browned in rich olive oil until caramelized. Flour is added and cooked with the melted onions to create a deeply flavored roux. Then the roasty mixture is blended with the remaining seasonings and water into a silky gravy.
- Add vegetables. The next part of the recipe is easy and fuss-free. Simply toss your chunky vegetables in an oven casserole, cover with the sumptuous gravy, and tuck in sprigs of fresh rosemary.
- Slow-roast. Cover your baking dish with a lid, and the oven does the rest, infusing the toothsome vegetables with savory goodness.
Because this stew recipe bakes slowly in the oven, it's ideal for lazy Sundays. Once you prep your casserole and pop it in to cook, you have an hour to kick back any way you like while your casserole bakes.
On top of that, the recipe is easily doubled for company. Place your dish of bubbling vegan stew at the center of your table with its lid on, and it will stay hot while bread is sliced, glasses are filled, and your guests gather.
You may just get oohs and ahhs when you lift the lid, and steamy rosemary aromatherapy fills the room. Hooray, Meatless Mondays for everyone!
More Meatless Monday recipes
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Rosemary Shiitake Vegan Stew
- 1 cup dry shiitake
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- 2 TB flour
- 1 TB olive oil
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 TB flour
- 3 TB soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon vegan worcestershire
- 1 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet browning liquid
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. mace or substitute ½ tsp. coriander
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 2 cups filtered water
- 1 cup chunky carrots
- 1 ½ cups chunky potato
- ¾ cup chunky celery
- 1 cup green beans, cut 2 inches long
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ¼ cup minced parsely
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees
Soak mushrooms in advance
- For the very best results, long soak mushrooms by placing mushrooms in a jar twice their volume. Fill the jar with cool water, submerge mushrooms and top off water to the very brim. Screw on a lid, and soak 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. Shake the jar once or twice to distribute mushrooms while soaking. This method preserves the most umami in the mushrooms themselves while restoring a buttery texture.
- If you need a quick method, place mushrooms in a heat-proof jar and cover with boiling water. Submerge mushrooms and top off with boiling water. It's important that all the mushrooms stay underwater. You can use a glass or small jar that fits just inside the soaking vessel to keep them wet. Let mushrooms sit for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Mushrooms won't be quite as soft or retain as much flavor with this method, but it's perfect for when you haven't planned ahead.
- Cut soaked shiitake in halves or quarters to make 2-inch pieces and squeeze all the water out. Place in a bowl with 2 teaspoons of soy sauce and toss. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and toss again. Heat 1 tablespoon(s) of olive oil in a skillet. Brown the mushrooms on both sides until golden and crispy.
- Hold cooked mushrooms aside while making and blending gravy.
Make brown gravy
- Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent and browning slightly. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and cook scraping bottom of pan occasionally until flour is toasty and brown. A wooden spoon works well for this.
- Place flour and onion mixture in a blender with 2 cup(s) of water and remaining gravy ingredients. Blend on high speed until very smooth. Gravy will be thin.
- Place green beans in a small bowl and hold aside to add last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Place remaining cut vegetables, bay leaf, rosemary and browned shiitake in a large ovenproof casserole. Pour brown gravy over the top and cover with the lid.
Slow-cook stew in oven
- Bake at 375 degrees for one hour until largest vegetables are mostly tender. Add green beans and cook another 15 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh parsley before serving. Ladle into bowls, top with cracked black pepper, and serve with crusty bread and a green salad if desired.
- Dried shiitake mushrooms are essential for this recipe. Fresh mushrooms won't have the same chewy texture in the stew.
- Soak mushrooms thoroughly according to recipe instructions.
- Cut carrots and potatoes into large chunks about 2 inches long and don't add green beans until the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- Dredge soaked mushrooms in flour and brown thoroughly until crispy on the edges before completing your gravy
- Top baked stew just before serving with fresh, minced parsley and cracked black pepper.
- Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week. Rosemary Shiitake Vegan Stew doesn't freeze.