Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Irish Eyes Were Smilin'

Top O' the day after St. Patty's day, to ya!

My original idea was to come home and scarf down leftovers, but I remembered I promised a weekly blog, so I figured - why not play up St. Patty's day? 

So, I've become a Pinterest junkie as of late. (I just organized all of my pins and boards because I'm a freak).  As I was on there yesterday I had realized I'd forgotten I'd purchased some Gardein Szechuan 'beef' strips.  (These are my favorite and I've never made them with the sauce they come with, either).  So I started looking up recipes with 'steak' or 'beef' in them, when lo-and behold, several dishes for Irish Stew came up.   Most of them with the main ingredient as Guiness, or some such Irish alcoholic beverage.   I however, had none - and honestly the thought of beer in my food doesn't really do it for me, I was lucky enough however to find a recipe that did NOT use beer in it - so as such, you can find the original recipe HERE

But here are my own substitutions.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. stew meat - (I used Gardein Szechuan Beef Strips)
4 large carrots, peeled & chopped - (I used frozen veggies here)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 large bay leaf or 2 small
2 cups beef broth - (I used "no beef" better than bouillion)
2 tablespoons butter - (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons flour
heaping 1/3 cup frozen peas - (These were in my frozen veggies)
Mashed potatoes - (and I did use her original recipe and subbed with cashew milk, tofutti cream cheese and earth balance butter) - (recipe found here)

So, I started out with the 'beef' strips.  Cooked them up nicely.  While that was cooking, I also threw in the frozen veggies (it made more sense to do it here - hers was thrown in at the end, but there was no real reason for me to cook mine as long as she cooked hers so I threw them in at the beginning with the onion and garlic                                                                                                  I cooked mine for the amount of time she slated, before adding my broth.
If you're going to do vegan 'beef' broth, you've got to use 'Better Than Boullion' - why?  It's the best.  It's also kind of hard to find on foot. I can find it online though fairly easy.  Once I added the broth, I got started on the mashed potatoes.

Now, she calls for peeling the mashed potatoes, but like the rebel Eve in me is, (That one is for you, Dee, if you're reading this) - I chose not to peel.  That, and my stupid irrational peeler fear.                                               

So, I cut the potatoes, put them in water and let everything do it's thing while I did the flour/butter thing since the butter needed to soften - which I found different, but wow - I think I'll do it again! 
She calls for a couple hours simmer time, but with vegan food, I've found you don't need to waste that much time waiting - which for the most part is good for me. I hate to wait for food. 

After a while, the potatoes were done, and I drained added and mashed those suckers, and then added the butter/flour mix to the stew, which did make it thick and yummy. Clearly just like a roux but without cooking it first. 

The finished product looked a little something like this

So, again - here is the original stew recipe.
As well as the mashed potato recipe.

Thank you to Laurenslatest blog for the inspiration.

Next week I'm going to do something a little weird..  How do YOU feel about dill pickle soup?  ;)

Current Music - The buzz of my phone
Current Craving - Leftovers
Current Motivation - Got none.

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