October 9, 2011

Spiced Beef Stew with Carrots and Mint



In my meat-eating days of yore, I remember making a beef stew that was absolutely delicious. It was sort of a throw-together meal: leftover cubed steak, potatoes, onions, carrots, broth, and some various herbs. But what I remember most is the wonderful, warming, homey feeling I got while eating it. It was perfect. So of course, I had to re-create that, vegan style.



This is, however, no traditional "beef" stew. It's easy to make, but it's spiced in such a way that makes you think of Moroccan or Mediterranean cuisine: pungent, smoky, warm, aromatic, and exotic. It's a little spicy, and there's a hint of sweetness from both the carrots and cinnamon.



Although the original recipe calls for pumpkin pie spice, I just adapted my own using a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice (because really, that's all it is). About 2-3 shallots (depending on the size) will yield enough for lots of pungent flavor, and for the sake of ease, I used a bag of petite-cut baby carrots. The flour will help to perfectly thicken the stew, and the broth will darken and develop a richer color as it cooks. The mint isn't too noticeable (at least the amount added in the stew), but the fresh chopped leaves on top add a nice freshness that contrasts the warm spices.



As with most stews, this definitely gets better the longer it sits, so next-day leftovers are sure to pack extra flavor. It's important to get a good crispy sear on the "beef" before adding it to the stew, as you don't want it to get soggy. I served mine on top of couscous, but it would be good on its own too.



Spiced Beef Stew with Carrots and Mint
(adapted from , March 2007)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces vegan beef cubes (such as )
  • 1 cup sliced shallots (about 2-3 large)
  • 8 ounces petite-cut baby carrots
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add beef to skillet and sauté until crispy on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer beef to bowl. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add shallots and carrots and sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Add all spices; stir 30 seconds. Sprinkle flour over; stir 30 seconds. Stir in broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until carrots are just tender, about 8 minutes. Return beef to skillet; cook until sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped mint. Serve with remaining chopped mint. Serves 4.

5 comments :

  1. Such a flavorful dish! Baby carrots are the tastiest too. This is something you can't say no to. The easy preparation and cooking instructions add to its appeal. This is a must try recipe!

    Reply
  2. It looks great. I'm still so hesitant to try the "fake" meats. I still make beef stew for my husband all the time though and I certainly like your seasoning ideas.

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  3. The beef stew looks amazingly delicious. The last photo got me salivating, can't believe you finished the dish without me :)

    Reply
  4. The beef stew tastes even better with the mint. It makes the dish more spicy.

    Reply
  5. Sounds fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    Simon

    Reply