Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes || Active time: 45 minutes
Oh my shamrocks, this is good. A fluffy potato biscuit soaking up a deeply savory gravy that is at once mysterious and familiar. The stout really gives this dish an allure, and two kinds of mushrooms make it meaty and earthy and just umami like nobody’s business. And ya know, for a special occasion, it’s not tooooo fussy.
I’m going to give you a few options here for the filling: one with frozen thawed tofu and one with straight-up kidney beans. I enjoyed both, with a slight preference for kidney beans only. My boyfriend, however, vastly prefered the tofu version. And he’s Scottish. And Scotland is near Ireland. So, you know, he’s kind of an authority.
I think it would also be great with some sauteed seitan or a few seitan sausages. But I’ll shut up now, and get to the recipe. Happy St. Paddy’s everyone!
UPDATED: I changed the broth to 3 cups after a few people said theirs looked a lot thinner than mine.
~ For the tofu variation:
Omit 1/2 of the kidney beans. Freeze and thaw a 14 oz block of extra firm tofu. Press tofu to remove excess water (wrap in a kitchen towel and place a heavy book and a few cans on top, for an hour or so.) Cut 1/2 inch dice and add to the pot when you add the beans.
~ This recipe calls for “leftover mashed potatoes” but you may not have any laying around! To make about the cup called for here, microwave a russet potato, and mash with 1/4 cup unsweetened vegan milk, 2 tablespoons olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let cool, then measure and use!
~ Stout is often processed with animal products (namely, isinglass, from fish) so check out Barnivore to see if a brand is vegan-friendly or not.
~ If you don’t have a stovetop-to-oven pot, then simply make the stew, place it in a 9×13 casserole and form the biscuits into a rectangle instead of a circle. Slice and arrange them on top of the casserole and bake as directed.
~ If you’re feeling lazy, or just want a simpler weeknight meal, make the stew portion of the recipe, and leave off the biscuits. Serve with some nice crusty bread.
For the stew:
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced medium
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 lb carrots, peeled, sliced into thin half moons
1 1/4 cups stout beer
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Fresh black pepper (a lot!)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups cooked kidney beans – 2 15 oz cans rinsed & drained [see note for tofu version]
For the biscuits:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes [see note on leftover mashed potatoes]
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
Make the stew:
Place porcinis in a bowl that’s large enough to contain the 4 cups vegetable broth. If the porcinis look large, tear them into bite sized pieces. Boil the vegetable broth and pour it over the porcinis. Cover with a plate to keep hot, and prep everything you need for the recipes. This will soften them and make the recipe a bit faster.
Preheat a stovetop-to-oven dutch oven over medium heat. (See notes for non-dutch oven directions.) Saute onions and a pinch of salt in oil until until translucent, 4 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, for about a minute, until fragrant.
Add sliced cremini mushroom (not the porcinis yet), celery, thyme and rosemary (crush herbs in your fingers) and saute for 5 minutes, until mushrooms release moisture and brown slightly.
Add carrots, stout, tomato paste, fresh black pepper and salt and bring to a boil. The liquid should reduce in about 3 minutes.
Add porcinis and vegetable broth, cover and bring to a full boil for 5 minutes or so, to finish cooking the porcinis.
Once porcinis are soft, in a measuring cup, mix the flour into one cup of cold water with a fork until no lumps are left.
Slowly add the water/flour to the pot, mixing well as you go. Let thicken for 5 minutes or so. Add the kidney beans, turn heat off and cover to keep warm. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425F and make the biscuits.
Make the biscuits:
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix together mashed potatoes, olive oil and water. It should be very loose and mushy.
Make a well in the center of the flour and add the potato mixture. Mix with a fork until a stiff dough starts to form, then turn the dough on to a clean surface and knead a few times to smooth out. Flatten into a disc 2 inches smaller than the pot with the stew in it. Slice like a tic tac toe board into 9 pieces and arrange the pieces on top of the stew.
Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned on top, and bubbling up thickly around the biscuits.
Let sit for 15 minutes or so, then serve!