It’s dark in the evening, Strictly has started, and its again acceptable, just, to put the heating on. That means it's time for rich stews, gravy and sticky puddings. I recently made this for my family (who are not veggie nor vegan) after a day walking along the Lincolnshire coast. Having been buffeted by gales and drizzle for most of the day we were all ready for something hearty! With helpings of seconds all round and clean plates later, it was a resounding success.
- 700g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 tin butter beans
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 300ml Guinness/stout or brown ale
- 2½ tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1–2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 25ml dark soy sauce
- salt and black pepper
- Quarter the mushrooms and spread them over a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil, season lightly and roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. When they’re ready, remove and set aside, reserving any juices
- Meanwhile, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan with the chopped onions and garlic. Fry softly.
- Remove the leaves from the rosemary and thyme and add to the pan and cook for 10 more minutes, until the onions are golden
- Pour the beer into the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 more minutes so the liquid reduces. Reduce the heat to low and add the mushrooms and any juices in the tray, along with the tin of drained beans.
- Add the flour, mustard and soy sauce and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, mustard or soy sauce if you like!
- Leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until the gravy is thick and gorgeous.
*Optional - a splash of red wine here has never gone a-miss in my opinion, just to add further to the rosy-cheeks factor.
Laura is our marketing manager who has previously written about her vegan lifestyle here. She recommends topping this stew with a slab of pre-cooked ready rolled puff pastry for an additional winter warmer, and serving with piles of mash and greens!