Tuesday 20 January 2015

Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew with Pearl Barley

Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew - vegan recipe

Well hello again! And a rather late Happy New Year to you all! I do apologise for the extended break, I found myself quite ill over the holidays and thanks to the lupus/immune suppression it's just taken me forever to get over it. I'm still not out of the woods yet but am getting better, thankfully.

So, back to the recipes :-) I wasn't really intending on posting yet another soup/stew like dish as there have a been a few of them lately but came up with this the other day and just loved it. I've been wanting to do an Irish stew inspired dish for years now anyway and really love this version with deeply roasted baby vegetables and pearl barley. I was considering replacing the meat in Irish stew with some sort of faux meat like seitan or some beans but opted in the end to add lots of baby mushrooms and just keep it simple with the veggies. The mushroom broth, roasting the veg and Worcester sauce all give a richness to the dish that you will not miss either the meat or faux meat here :-) 

You may notice that I have not added any stout here. I'm just not a huge fan of stout in my stews and would much prefer having a pint of it with the dish instead. Plus, as my Irish husband told me "We NEVER had Irish Stew with stout in it..." So there you go! Personally, I would prefer a bottle of my favourite dark ale with this dish instead. In my case, Chimay blue label - that stuff is gorgeous!

I also wanted to have some brown soda bread to go with it. I didn't have any soy yogurt to make my basic Brown Irish Soda bread so I tried my beer bread recipe, replacing the white flour with wholemeal (whole wheat flour) and used a bottle of the Chimay blue label instead of a lager. It turned out nice, the texture was wonderful - really light and fluffy which was surprising for a brown bread and it was really nice with the stew, but a little bit bitter on it's own. I think this is down to the fact that Chimay blue label is a 9% beer. Still, it's a nice bread option for this stew although I would recommend a less powerful beer ;-)
Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew - vegan recipe

~Recipe Notes~

This recipe isn't overly 'brothy' - it is a stew after all - not a soup. So it's something you kind of eat with a knife and fork as well as a spoon.
If you can't buy mushroom stock cubes you could make your own mushroom stock or if you able to buy vegan 'beef style' stock cubes or bouillon I would recommend that here. (I swear I'm not being paid by Kallo, lol - I just use those cubes a lot in my cooking).
Leave the veggies whole if you are able to buy ones that are small enough. If not, slice them in half. I halved my shallots, new potatoes and carrots as I could only find fairly large 'baby' ones. I left my baby mushrooms whole as they shrink up so much.
The length of time roasting with depend on many things - the size of the veggies you've used, the heat of your oven, type of pan you have, even how much water is in the veg is a factor. So, use my times only as a guide and check yours regularly. Note that the shallots will fall apart - that is fine :-)
Initially I roasted the rosemary and thyme with the veggies but found they got a little burnt and added a bitter taste to the final dish so I now add them to the pearl barley while simmering.
The Worcestershire sauce adds a nice flavour dimension to the dish but if you can't buy it or don't like simply don't add it.
Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew - vegan recipe

Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew with Pearl Barley:

Recipe yields 4 small servings.

Roasted Vegetables:

150g shallots, peeled 
300g baby new potatoes, washed, scrubbed and dried. 
300g small or baby carrots, peeled 
300g baby button mushrooms
1 large clove of smoked garlic, left in skin (you can use regular garlic here)
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
½ Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
pinch of sea salt 
some freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 220°C

Whisk together the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Place the carrots, shallots, mushrooms, clove of garlic and potatoes in a roasting tin and pour over the oil mixture. Toss well. Roast for 40 minutes tossing a few times. Test them with a fork to ensure the potatoes and carrots are soft. When done, remove the clove of garlic and squeeze out the filling into the pan.

Pearl Barley:

50g raw pearl barley
2 bay leaves
sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme (1 of each)
1½ Kallo mushroom stock cubes
750ml water

Wash the barley really well. In a small-medium saucepan bring the water to the boil and dissolve the cube in it. Add the barley, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves. Bring back to the boil then cover and reduce to low and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender. Stir now and again.

Finishing the dish:

Combine the pearl barley (with stock) and all the roasted veggies into a large saucepan. De-glaze the roasting tin with a little hot water, scraping the tin to get all the flavour off. Pour this into the pot as well. Note: if for some reason your roasting tin ends up really burnt don't deglaze, only do this to add some of the roasted flavour into the dish. Bring to a simmer then cook gently, covered, for 5 -10 minutes for the flavours to meld. Taste, season if need be and if you have to add a bit more water do. Keep in mind this shouldn't have a lot of broth. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and thyme stalks (leave the leaves). Stir in most of the chives then divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle with more of the chives.

Beautiful served with some brown soda bread and a pint of vegan stout or dark ale.
Roasted Baby Vegetable Irish Stew - vegan recipe

Nutritional Information: based on 1 serving out of 4

Calories: 275
Protein: 6.5g
Fibre: 6.1g
Fat: 11.2g
Sat Fat: 1.6g
Carbs: 37.5g
Sugar: 6g
Sodium: 853mg

You Might Also Like:

Kale & Flageolet Bean
Smokey Red Bean
Dumpling Stew


  1. This looks delish-yum!

    Sorry to hear about you being sick but hope you continue getting better soon.

    And kudos on the beer- Chimay Blue Label is a favorite of mine as well!


    1. Thanks Kelsey! Chimay is so good, I like them all but that blue label.....La Trappe Quadruple has become a recent fav as well :-)

  2. I love how wholesome this looks. I think you just sorted my Friday night dinner - I have all these ingredients in my kitchen or stellar replacements to boot ;)

  3. In honour of St. Patrick's Day (and my own Irish heritage), I made this stew yesterday. WOW! This is by far one of the BEST stews I've ever had. The roasted baby vegetables made it so easy to make too... very little chopping to do. Yet another success, Debbie! Thank you - and Happy St.Paddy's Day!

    1. Oh that's great Shelagh, so glad you liked it :-) Happy St. Paddy's day to you too, hope you had a good one!


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