St. Patrick's Day came and I wanted to make stew. I found this recipe in Robin Robertson's Fresh From The Vegetarian Slow Cooker and had almost all of the ingredients. It's called Almost Irish Stew and the only thing I had to buy a green leafy veg.
Again, trying to get some greens into Jim.
I had just picked this up the day before, so it was nice and fresh and green. The regular Swiss Chard looked like it had seen better days, but the red was really vibrant.
The recipe also called for white wine. I was in the mood for red wine with dinner and didn't want to open a big bottle of white just to use half a cup. OK, the recipe called for 1/4 cup, but who's measuring? I have a few small bottles of wine in the house, just for occasions like this. Don't buy cooking wine!! It's horrible stuff. Use a wine that you would drink.
I used this one for the stew. It's decent enough and it won't break the bank. It comes in little bottles (250 ml) that are under $4.
The stew slow cooked all day in the crock pot. The greens were cooked seperately and then added in about 10 minutes before serving.
The original recipe didn't call for any kind of meat alternative, but did say that chunks of seitan could be substituted for the beans. I didn't have any seitan on hand and frankly, was feeling just too lazy to make any, so I fried up some veggie burgers, cubed them and added them in about half an hour before the stew was done. I used the beans too for an extra protein punch.
I didn't even make any soda bread (feeling lazy, remember?) so I opted for these delicious ciabata buns that we make at the bakery. They are crisp on the outside and dense and chewy on the inside. Perfect for stew.
Since the stew had a "light" broth, I went with a light red wine. I really enjoy Pinot Noir. In Ontario, we don't see a whole lot of wines available from BC for some reason. They have a thriving wine industry, but I don't know where all of those bottles go. Certainly not east. This one, from Gray Monk, comes in through Vintages and I usually try to grab a couple. I've had this bottle for over a year and decided to give it a go. It was delicious! The 2006 offering was recently for sale and again, I bought 2 bottles. Wino Will didn't give it a great review, but I'll let it sit for another year and then try it, which I've always done with these wines anyway.