Can you think of a better pair than hearty stew and creamy mashed potatoes? The perfect partnership that provides so much comfort and satisfaction. This vegetarian stew is full of meaty mushrooms, vibrant carrots and hearty lentils coated with a velvety gravy-like broth. It’s a stick to your ribs kind of meal and wonderful on a snowy winter night.
This recipe begins by browning the onions, mushrooms and carrots in olive oil. First, you want to make sure your pot is preheated and hot enough to achieve browning. This is the first step to ensuring beautiful flavours in the stew. After the vegetables have browned, leaving those brown sticky bits on the bottom of the pot you will add the flour and then a good amount of red wine to deglaze. Once the remaining ingredients have been added to your pot the stew will slowly simmer and reduce until you’re left with an incredibly flavourful stew. Meanwhile, you will cook and mash those creamy potatoes.
I love making this stew on a Sunday night when you can take your time with a glass of red wine and let the stew slowly simmer away filling your house with wonderful smells. Be sure to add a rustic baguette to your table when serving and savour each bite.
If you want to simplify this recipe and save some time there are a few things you can do. First, for the mashed potatoes you could either skip peeling them or buy a bag of pre-washed baby potatoes that again don’t require peeling or cutting. This will save you a few minutes, as long as you’re okay with potato skins. I definitely am. As well, if you want to save yourself about 10 minutes you can use a large white onion instead of the pearl onions. Those pearl onions are cute and all, but they definitely require some patience to peel.
I hope this hearty, healthy vegetarian stew nourishes you through this busy holiday season!
Ciao for now,
- 4 medium (about 680 g) white potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) almond milk (or other milk of choice)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) butter
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
- 15 pearl onions, peeled
- 3 large carrots, 3/4 inch slices
- 1 lb (500 g) mushrooms, whole or halved depending on size
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 tbsp (60 ml) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (250 ml) red wine
- 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) Worcestershire sauce
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1.5 cups (375 ml) green lentils, canned or pre-cooked
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Garnish: fresh chopped parsley
- Add potatoes to a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until cooked through. Once cooked, add milk and butter and mash until smooth and creamy. Add more milk if necessary and season to taste with salt. Set aside with lid on.
- Meanwhile, add enough olive oil to dutch oven or pot so that there is a thin coat over the whole surface. Once oil has heated over medium high heat, add the onions, carrots and mushrooms. Allow the vegetables to sit, undisturbed for about 5 minutes to allow for browning at the bottom of the pot. Turn vegetables over and continue cooking until browning occurs. Reduce heat, add garlic and stir for about a minute or until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add flour and stir until vegetables are coated with flour.
- Add wine and stir until slightly reduced, about a minute or two.
- Add vegetable stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer with lid on for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- After 10 minutes, remove lid and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme from the mixture. Add lentils and simmer for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and liquid has reduced enough to reach a gravy-like consistency.
- To serve, add a scoop of mashed potatoes and stew to bowl. Garnish with fresh parsley.
Variations and Substitutions: Instead of pearl onions, use one large onion, chopped (time saver).
Dietary Considerations: Vegetarian