This is ultimate comfort food, and the perfect dish for a family feast. Our veggie version of the classic Irish stew is hearty with beans and lentils. Chunks of sweet root veg and meaty mushrooms simmer in a broth of bouillon, dried mushrooms and bay leaves. We’ve taken the potatoes out of the stew and put them on top in the form of colcannon. This pie is so so delicious, packed with healthy veg and heaps of flavour, you’ll be coming back to this again and again and again.
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the stew:
2 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
1 tsp dried mushrooms
3 bay leaves
1 liter just-boiled water
a little oil or butter for sautéing
2 onions, roughly diced
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 celery sticks, sliced
a couple of parsnips or a 1/4 of a celeriac, cut into bite sized chunks
200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
salt & pepper to taste
1 tin cooked lentils, drained
1 tin cooked beans, drained
3 tbsp cornstarch, mixed with enough cold water to make a slurry
For the colcannon:
10 or so potatoes, boiled
150g kale, thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced
butter, salt & pepper to taste
Gather and prepare the vegetables, get the potatoes into salted water to boil and turn the oven on to 200C to warm up. Pop the kettle on.
Pour a liter of boiling water into a jug with the bouillon powder, dried mushrooms and bay leaves. Stir well, this is your broth.
Then, in an oven and hob safe pot, sauté the chopped onion, carrot, celery, mushrooms and parsnips/celeriac with the oil and a little salt and pepper. Stir over a medium-high heat for around 7 minutes or until the vegetables take on some colour and start to soften and reduce. Now add the broth, beans and lentils to the pot and simmer the stew for around 10 minutes.
Meanwhile make the colcannon. Once the potatoes are boiled, tip the sliced kale into the pot and let it boil for just a minute. Drain and mash the potatoes and kale together with plenty of butter. Stir in the scallions and season to taste with salt and pepper.
The stew should be ready, now it will just need thickening. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the stew and stir over the heat until the stew has thickened up. Then top with the colcannon and run a fork over the top to even it out and rough it up.
Bake it a hot oven until the top has browned and crisped up a little and the stew is bubbling. This should take around 15-20 minutes if you get it in the oven whilst still hot. Enjoy!
With St Paddy’s Day just around the corner, we have been making lots of traditional Irish food. Soda bread is so quick and easy to make, we love this sweet loaf with whiskey soaked raisins. We make our own dairy free buttermilk, but of course you can use regular if that’s what you have. It’s the best thing, warm out the oven with a generous slab of cold cold butter and a steaming cup of tea. How do you like yours?
a generous handful of raisins soaked in a splash of whiskey or black tea
For the dairy free buttermilk:
300ml oat milk
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp oil
a pinch of salt
2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp sugar
Heat the oven to 180C and butter a skillet (or you can use a baking sheet or cake tin).
Soak your raisins in a splash of whiskey or tea and mix the buttermilk ingredients together in a measuring jug.
While the raisins plump up and the milk sours, measure out your dry ingredients into a bowl and give them a good whisk to evenly disperse the baking soda.
Then use a wooden spoon to stir in the raisins, followed by the buttermilk. You should be left with a fairly sticky dough.
Generously flour a clean work surface and scrape the dough out onto the flour. If your dough is very sticky, sprinkle flour on top too. Bring the dough together into a ball, no need to knead, then place the dough on the buttered skillet.
Score the bread with a deep cross and sprinkle with more sugar if you like. Then bake for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool as long as you can resist before slicing and spreading with butter. Enjoy!
Soda bread is so easy to make and a delicious Irish classic. You’ve got to try a fresh, homemade loaf for St Patrick’s Day! Perfect for breakfast with sweet or savoury toppings or for lunch with a bowl of soup. We make versions of this loaf at least once a week, sometimes with a handful or two of dried fruit in the mix for a sweet version, and it’s the perfect loaf to make with kids as it’s so quick and simple.
Traditional Irish soda bread contains buttermilk so it’s easy to make a dairy free version with oat milk and a little apple cider vinegar to make it acidic. The baking soda needs something acidic to react with otherwise it will not rise, so don’t be tempted to skip the vinegar. I promise, you can’t taste it in the bread. We choose creamy, Irish oat milk and raw apple cider vinegar from Clashganny organic farm. Here’s our easy recipe.
300ml oat milk
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
400g white flour
100g wholemeal flour
a handful of porridge oats (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
a handful of optional seeds or dried fruit
Turn your oven on to 200C and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
In a mixing jug, mix the milk, vinegar and oil and let it sit for a few minutes while you prepare the dry ingredients. This is your vegan buttermilk.
In a large mixing bowl, measure the flours, oats (if using), salt and baking soda and mix well with a wooden spoon. Make a well in the middle. You can also add dried fruit or seeds at this stage if you would like to.
Then pour the ‘buttermilk’ into the well and stir with the wooden spoon until the ingredients come together into a rough, sticky dough.
Now use one hand to turn and squash the dough together in the bowl. You may find it is too sticky to handle and needs an extra handful of flour. Careful not to add too much flour though, the dough should be slightly sticky otherwise the loaf will come out too dry and crumbly. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly, just for a minute or two at the most.
Shape the dough into a disc that is around 3 cm high and place it on the lined baking tray. Using a large knife or bread knife, cut a deep X into the top of the dough, around 1 cm deep. Dust with a little flour or an optional sprinkle of seeds or porridge oats.
Bake in the oven until risen and golden – around 30-40 minutes. The loaf should sound hollow when you tap it. Enjoy warm or cold slathered in butter (we stock a really good vegan butter here if you need).