January 31st, 2012

Seitan Porcini Beef Stew

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Serves 6 to 8
Time: 45 minutes

Vegan Beef Stew

I’ve been on a mission to build a better vegan beef stew. Anyone can throw some wine and tomatoes into a pot but even with all the right ingredients, it’s all too easy to make a flat stew. I wanted deep complex flavors, a thick and silky base, chunky carrots and potatoes cooked just right. And of course, beefiness. And I wanted it to all happen in one pot. A simple filling stew shouldn’t destroy the entire kitchen.

Put plainly, I wanted the “DAAAAYAMN!” factor. Nothing too fussy, but a bowl that not only comforts you on a cold winter’s night, it straight-up makes you look forward to the snowiest, windiest, all-the-roads-shut-downiest night possible, just so you can make stew.

So I pulled a Cook’s Illustrated and made vegan beef stews all week. Chipping away at the recipe, then building it back up. I tried several different “beefs”; tofu, tempeh, and seitan, finally settling on a mix of homemade vegan sausage and dried porcini mushrooms. Tofu was a little too mushy, or took too much work to make it not mushy. Tempeh just crumbled too much, despite my best efforts. The seitan sausage provides flavor and hearty texture without needing to be sauteed, while the porcinis create a sultry broth and a falling-off-the-bone meatiness (that phrase isn’t gross when you consider that there aren’t any actual bones here, right?) that just sings “Beef Stew.”

For the base I knew I didn’t want a limp tomato sauce. In fact, I wanted to steer away from tomato as much as possible. I tried lentils as a backdrop but it was too…lentil-y. I also tried starting with a roux, and it was yummy but too thick…more like a sauce than a stew, plus it made the veggies cook unevenly. Finally, I settled on a slurry — a mix of water and flour that can be added after the veggies have cooked. When slowly heated it becomes thick (but not too thick) and velvetty, and holds in all the great flavor from the wine, mushrooms and spices. Just a touch of tomato paste provided even more body and a hint of tang.

The other challenge was getting the veggies to cook perfectly. Potatoes overcook easily and I didn’t want potato soup. Adding the potatoes after the initial ingredients come to a boil and then simmering them until tender is a fool proof method. Then the slurry is added and cooked just long enough to marry the flavors and create TSH (Total Stew Harmony.)

Vegan Beef Stew

So yeah, long-story-that-I-just-made-you-read-short: I love this stew! The one thing that maybe isn’t ideal is that you need to have the sausages on hand, but they are so very easy to whip up. Make a batch the night before and you’ll have more than you need for this recipe so it’s totally worth it. But there are some alternatives, see below.

Anticipated questions:
Can you make this gluten free?
Yes! Sub the flour for 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch or 1/4 of your favorite gluten free flour mix. Sub the sausages for thawed extra firm frozen tofu with the water pressed out (this was my second favorite “meat” while experimenting.) Slice tofu into 1/2 inch thick triangles. Add an extra 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seed to the stew for sausage-y flavor.

Can you use a different dried mushroom?
Yes! Shiitake or portobello will work. But chop them up a little finer before adding.

Can you use seitan instead of sausages?
Yes! Use 2 cups of sliced seitan but saute it first, then remove it from the pot and add later, otherwise it will be rubbery.

Can you make this in a slow cooker?
I haven’t tried it. Why don’t you give it a shot and let us know?

Ok, now let’s stew!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thickly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium carrot, peeled, sliced on a bias, 1/2 inch thick
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel or crushed fennel seeds
Fresh black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds potatoes (any type), lazily peeled, cut in 1 1/2 inch chunks

1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 vegan sausages, sliced into chunky half mooons

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Preheat a 4 quart pot over medium high heat.

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 carrots, wine, rosemary (crushed in your fingers), thyme (crushed in your fingers), paprika, fennel, 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 quickly cook the procinis. Now add the potatoes, lower heat and bring to a simmer (not a full boil). Let the potatoes cook just until fork tender, about 15 minutes.

In a measuring cup, mix the flour into the water with a fork until no lumps are left. Slowly add the broth/flour to the pot, mixing well. Mix in the tomato paste. Let thicken for 5 minutes or so. Add the sausages and continue to cook. In about 5 more minutes it should be perfectly thick but still smooth. Taste for salt and seasonings, and serve! Sprinkle individual servings with fresh parsley if you want to be 70s food chic.

213 comments to Seitan Porcini Beef Stew

  • I can’t say stews of any kind are something I miss (I never had a meat stew I liked, to be honest), but this could be really nice. I really like the miso something sauce in the VWAV stew, I just always felt like the potatoes and tofu weren’t the best things to put in it.

    Porcinis tend to be quite expensive, but luckily I have a whole bunch I’ve picked and dried myself. :->

  • Cool! Something to combat the Quebec winter!

    But after all your experimenting, I am really wishing there were a vegan version of Cook’s Illustrated.

  • Oh my that looks amazing. I’m generally not a huge fan of stews, but that picture makes me want some. Right now. And it’s 9:30 in the morning. I want that stew for breakfast!

  • Annie

    YUM! I’m gonna make this with the fresh shitakes I got from the Asian market yesterday. What kind of vegan sausages did you use? It sounds like you used the Italian ones but let me know!

  • Tera

    My hubby (who is slowly being converted to vegan 😉 has a gastro-pub cookbook with a Guinness beef pie that is essentially a beef stew in puff pastry. We tried over Christmas to make a vegan version for me…no success 🙁 I think that if I remove the red wine and use a Guinness with veg stock to make up the total quantity of ligquid, we may have a winner pie. But hey, I could just use this recipe till then 😉

    PS…you rock!

  • Michele

    Dried porcini’s can have a lot of grit in them. Did you notice any of that in your stew?
    And who eats all the trial stews before you find the perfect one? I’m the only vegan in my house and my husband will try things, but I end up having to eat leftovers forever from one or two new recipes a week. I would love to try more because there are so many great ideas out there but I don’t want to throw things away. Everything I’ve cooked from you is amazing by the way! Thanks for making this transition easier and very interesting!

  • maria landolina ishaya

    we LOVE YOU isa!!!

  • Becky

    Do the carrots go in with the potatoes?

  • That pretty much looks like the perfect bowl of “beef” stew. I bought my first porcini mushrooms ever last night to use in Julie Hasson’s roast from Vegan Diner, and I’m thinking I should make porcinis a staple in my diet.

  • ::drool::…I’m going to the store IMMEDIATELY to make this!! I’ve been on a quest to get that beefy quality back to winter stewmaking endeavors. This looks Shabbat-ready to me! 🙂

  • I seriously can’t wait to try this!!! Thanks for all your hard work!


  • mhs

    Oh this looks lovely, I want!
    But makes me realize one major downside of moving to the southern hemisphere: I’m always seasonally out of synch with your recipes… hearty stews just aren’t the same with the sun shining and the temperature around 25C x-(

  • Robyn Mary

    Can I throw something in besides dried mushrooms? I kinda hate them a lot, but I used to love beef stew.

  • Robyn Mary

    I might try it anyway. It can do mushrooms in certain dishes. Do you remember the stew in Vegan with A Vengeance with tofu, potatoes, and miso? It’s one of my faves, and it calls for shroomies.

  • val

    That looks like the perfect bowl of stew! Can’t wait to try it, thanks so much!

  • Morgan

    Is there any substitute for wine? I’m underage soI don’t really have wine laying around. Lol

  • Kristin

    I’m with Robyn Mary – I can’t do mushrooms 🙁 I have a sensitivity to them and it’s the worst!! They’re always the meat substitute out at restaurants n’stuff! Okay, enough exclamation points.

    Is it possible to do this with just more sausage and veg? Will the flavor be totally lacking? Any advice is appreciated, as this looks a-ma-zing. Thanks 🙂

  • Errrin

    Made this tonight for me and the fiancé and it was delicious! (I conveniently had made a double batch of your sausages a couple of days ago.) i was lucky to get any sausage into the pot with him sneaking bites of it behind my back!

  • Oh my god Isa. I love you. This looks just like my mom’s beef stew, just ya know, minus the beef. The same velvety sauce and perfect potatoes and carrots. Making sausages tomorrow so I don’t have an excuse to not have this in two days.

  • This looks like the stew I remember as a kid. I’m gonna try it in the slow cooker. I may add a little tapioca..one of the strange ingredients in my mom’s stew.

  • Kathleen

    Do they have to be dried mushrooms or can I use fresh?

    • IsaChandra

      You can do whatever you want! But you’d have to change some stuff around (no boiling the mushrooms for example) and fresh porcinis are really expensive and out of season.

  • Lisa

    I always look forward to your next recipe…and I enjoy reading them as much as making and eating them!

  • Erin

    My mom just made a big pot of beef stew for my dad (the only omni in the house), I can’t wait to make this for my mom and I so we can make him super jealous.

  • This looks fanTAStic! My mom’s beef stew was my favorite comfort food growing up; I’m embarrassed to say I still miss it. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

    Also, I’m loving all the stuff with mushrooms. Bring on the mushrooms!

  • Let me just say…yummy! Your recipes are amazing. I have Veganomicon, Vegan with a Vengeance, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. All are wonderful. I have used many cupcakes, cookies, etc. to show those omnivores how great food can taste without all of the animal products.

    Thank you so much!

  • Lauren

    On point! I HAD to have this for dinner, and the hubby whipped it up. It will definitely be made again. I think I might try adding miso next time. I’m full and still craving this stew.

  • Beckah

    I can taste it already! My crockpot and I shall be the official slow cooker testers, can’t wait to try!

  • ChessiePique

    Must. Try. ASAP. Including the homemade sausage.

    Thank you, Isa!

  • Yum! Looks super hearty and delicious. Perfect for a winter night! And I love the idea of a slurry instead of a roux… gives it such lovely sheen. Have you ever tried using arrowroot instead of flour or cornstarch to thicken stews? I find that it gives slurries such a lovely sheen, plus it’s health-supportive (and gluten-free!) to boot. A great stomach soother!

  • My husband yelled at me for “wasting all that wine,” but he took it back when he tried it! Haha! Added celery, used a blend of dried mushrooms, reconstituted, and used the red seitan recipe from Viva Vegan- still amazing!

  • Megan

    For a super-easy way to add flavour and thicken stews, toast the plain flour in a dry pan until it’s medium-brown, then add it to your stew. My mother learned that tip from her grandmother… thanks, ladies, for the family secrets! ^__^

  • It looks just like beef stew! I accept the slow cooker challenge and hope my boyfriend thinks its beef!

  • mariah

    snowstorm moving in so i am taking the weather as a sign to make this :). i am doing it in the crockpot and my house smells amazing. i can’t wait 2 1/2 more hours 😀

  • Shanon

    Just made this stew and I am in total heaven! Thanks again Isa!

  • Marisaq

    This looks AMAZING. My favorite food used to be beef stew, my whole childhood my grandma would make it every time we visited. So happy for this! Hope I can find the mushrooms, I’m a college student in my first year out cooking for myself so it often takes me a long time at the grocery store haha

  • C.ho

    I have a bunch of dried chanterelles lying around- do you thin those’ll do me?

  • Oh My Freaking G*d! I can’t wait to make this, serve it to unsuspecting meat eaters and hear their reactions! This sounds so amazing, I can’t thank you enough for all of your effort and time to get it right! Love you! thank you!

  • addition to last comment: I LOVE reading your posts! Love your voice, your style, bring on the long-story-short ones!

  • Gerard

    This looks really good. Keeping with the Cook’s Illustrated theme (they just did a stew-improving article), people might want to try a tiny splash of soy or miso, and maybe whizzing up a couple of the dry mushrooms in a coffee grinder first.

  • Allison Dubya

    This was delicious! I made a double batch of the Italian sausage the night before and made piggies in a blanket with some crescent dough that I had, you know, lying around. Then the next night…. “beef” stew! I used a regular portabello mushroom and sauteed it with the carrots and onions and stuff because I didn’t have any dried mushrooms, and I didn’t have any rosemary, so I winged it and subbed marjoram…. it was delicious!!!! 🙂 Thanks again for being such a genius, Isa!

  • Leilani

    Made this tonight. Me and my five kids really enjoyed it. (hubby is at work, he’ll love it later). I made the sausages last night, doubled the recipe, and we ate it with sweet potato fries and salad. It was my first attempt at seitan. Why did I wait so long??? Super easy and delish! This stew is totally different from my usual stew… I was worried the kids would turn up their noses, but since they are vegan kids, they almost never say no to anything. Especially if it comes from you guys! We love you! You really are a genius!!!!

  • alva

    Eating a bowl right now! it’s really good and rich. So easy to make, used the recipe for the sausage as well, turned out really well!

  • melissa

    thank you, once again. i just made the stew and it is phenomenal!!! going to have it over quinoa for my husband’s birthday dinner. you rock!

  • Jules

    Tried this last night and it was FANTASTIC! You wouldn’t believe it wasn’t made with meat stock and beef! Absolutely gorgeous – if you haven’t made this yet, do so immediately!

  • Erin

    Does it matter what kind of red wine or is it just red cooking wine?

  • Allison Dubya

    Lol I used the same thing… I heart 2 buck chuck! Or 3 buck or whatever it is now. 🙂

  • Erin

    I’m going to try Yellowtail Shiraz! We shall see…;)

  • Holy shiitake, Isa. This one’s a winner. Everyone at my work was raving at how luscious it smelled when I brought leftovers for lunch.

  • Katie

    Just amazing! Even my dog thought there was MEAT in the house 🙂

  • jessie

    Isa you have outdone yourself. This was AMAZING. I love that the sausage gave the stew a little kick. I don’t know how you do it but your recipes just keep getting more awesome! I can’t thank you enough for making vegan so easy.

  • Jen

    I made this last night for a dinner guest, and we both loved it!! I used packaged seitan and some left over Field Roast celebration roast. Wow!! so rich and tasty! Definitely a keeper.

  • I just got done making seitan for seitan nuggets tonight, but I’m going to make this stew with it, instead. My stew will be different, in that I hate fennel, so that will be out. I only have sweet potatoes in the house. In place of dried porcinis, I’m going to saute some fresh, though past their prime, button mushrooms, and put them in, because that’s what I’ve got. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m going to make a pathetic version of this stew, but I’ll follow the recipe as closely as I can.

    P.S. I kind of love rubbery seitan. Is that weird?

  • Cindy

    Has anyone made this in a slow cooker yet?

  • Kirsten

    I never liked stew growing up… but now, after making this, I’m pretty sure it was only because I didn’t like meat. I made this last night and it was amazing. My omni-bf, tasted it and said, “You should make this more often!”. This may become a weekly winter meal.

  • spacemanaki

    This was like straight-up Dinty Moore beef stew from my childhood. Totally rad, thanks!

  • Tina

    This stew was fabulous, but I think I put too much fennel in my sausage and it was too “Italian-y” for the stew. Next time, I may just leave the sausage out. The stew alone has such depth of flavor that it really needs nothing more than a side of vegan cornbread!

    I made a double batch of the sausage and it’ll be great with onions and peppers, or in sauce!

    Thanks for another fab recipe!

  • […] ihr euch vielleicht für einen wärmenden Wintereintopf begeistern, Rezept auf dem gleichen Blog: Seitan Porcini Beef Stew. Habe ich ebenfalls schon ausprobiert und war ein Volltreffer. Der Clou daran sind die getrockneten […]

  • chools

    No snow but the stew was still fab. I added some dumplings which I cooked before adding the thickener, and… there are leftovers for tomorrow 🙂

  • bethhzh

    made this today in the slow cooker.Fabulous!!!!!!! I also made it gluten free and it was so good my husband packed some for lunch tomorrow and he has a catered lunch meeting!

  • Connie Fletcher

    It’s only 8:15 am, and I just finished the sausages…(making them that is). I will be making this for dinner tonight. Can’t wait!! This looks (I eat with my eyes first) fabulous…I can almost smell it!!! Those sausages are DIVINE!!!

  • Connie Fletcher

    And, I find myself back here, yet again….the stew is in the slow cooker. I haven’t added the sausages (from this morning) yet, but I have cooked the stew for about 5 hours, have just added the slurry, and am about to brown up some nice thick sausage slices, and eat myself silly……….whoops, I think that ship sailed quite awhile ago……….GREAT RECIPE!!!! Thank you, Isa. You really do make eating vegan a whole lot easier!

  • Connie Fletcher

    Did I happen to mention THIS STEW IS ABSOLUTLEY DE-FREAKEN-LISH-US!!!!

    Now, I promise, I’m done…

  • Melinda

    First time I’ve gotten veggies in my toddler’s belly in God knows how long!He loved it and so did I. Thank you, this was delicious!

  • Gabe

    Wow! This looks incredible! For a long time after going veg, I missed my mom’s beef pot roast at the holidays. This stew reminds me of that pot roast – I can’t wait to make it.

  • This was really good. Loved the depth of flavor – with almost no fat!? My husband and I agreed… the only addition that made this recipe THAT MUCH BETTER, was a splash of dry sherry on top before eating. It was the icing on an already good cake. Thanks IsaChandra!

  • LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Very nostalgic meal! Very rich!! Muchas Gracias!!

  • Julia

    My husband and I just mmmmmmmmmmmmmm’ed all the way through dinner. Holy cannoli. We browned the sausages a bit in a cast iron skillet before throwing in the pot and it added some nice chew and texture to the otherwise soft ingredients. The potatoes held their shape but turned to creamy deliciousness in my mouth. I added some frozen corn and peas to the leftovers I had for lunch and that was tasty too! We couldn’t get any dried mushrooms (I happened to have only a bit on hand), so we subbed with baby bellas and they were perfect.

    I always make notes on my recipes, and my notes for this recipe say this at the top:

    TO. DIE. FOR.

    Isa, you are my hero.

  • Beth M

    I made this last night and it got rave reviews. I used a fresh portobella, because that’s what I had. And for the meat eaters, I added some bison stew meat. Everyone loved it!

  • Melanie

    Made this for dinner last night and had the left overs for lunch! SO delicious and filling! Love it, thank you! Please publish a stews ‘n’ loafs cookbook! 🙂

  • I made this in a slow cooker with red seitan from Viva Vegan instead of sausages, no carrots (I’d used them all in carrot salad), regular mushrooms instead of porcinis, a couple tablespoons of tapioca for thickener instead of flour. Excellent! Thanks again for the recipe.

  • Freethinkermama

    This is seriously so yummy and not too bad on calories either. Thanks Isa for being dependable. It’s nice to be able to open one of your books or come to this site and pick anything and know that it will be fantastic!

  • Alexa

    This was really, really, really good! I used dried shiitake mushrooms instead of porcinis, because that’s all I had. I think I reduced the wine or broth too much in the early steps because there wasn’t much liquid left by the time I got to adding the sausages. But that was easy to fix – just added some water and cooked down a bit

  • beckiwithani

    I started this on the stove (onions, then garlic, then reduced the wine), then added that mixture and all the veggies to the crock pot with the broth. A few hours on high, and finished it (thickener, tomato paste, sausage) on the stove.

    I am not a huge beef stew fan, but my Irish-born husband is. It’s one of the cravings he gets that we’ve never managed to find a vegan cure for. Until now. I think he died and went to heaven. And, although I prefer lighter-style dishes, I have to admit it was really damn good. Thank you!

  • beckiwithani

    Oh, one thing I forgot to add: I did a mixture of carrots and parsnips instead of just carrots. Really nice addition.

  • Ryan

    This dish is delicious. Thanks so much for it. I’ve started to substitute kabocha (other kinds of pumpkin or squash would probably work) for the potato and have found it to be really tasty. The kabocha has a nice silky texture. I also use fresh shiitake instead of the porcini and they’ve worked well.

  • Loved it! I thought it would be hard because it seemed like a lot of steps, but it wasn’t. Delicious. After a few bites my husband said, “We are definitely making this again!”

  • Michaela

    Love this stew!!! Just made it with the olive oil bread <3 <3

  • this was so easy and delicious!! Just one questiopn– how long can you refrigerate or freeze the sausage. I am the only one who eats this way and don’t want to waste anything!!!!!!

  • Becky

    This stew is delicious! Very impressed. I would probably forgo the sausages next time though – mostly because I didn’t even like sausage when I ate meat so it’s not surprising that I didn’t like this vegan version either. But they do actually taste just like sausages, which is a great achievement for those with a craving 🙂

  • Tracy

    This is by far the best vegan stew I have ever had! When my husband and I went vegan we figured we were giving up homey, thick, meaty stew. Little did we know. It is awesome! The first time I made this stew I did have some grit from the porcinis so the next time I made it I soaked them in hot water. Just enough to cover them. Strained the liquid and used it as part of the veg broth. I sooo did not want to loose any of their wonderful flavor. Thank you Isa for this wonderful recipe.

  • Oh my my my…I made this tonight. I have a nearly vegan husband and a not so vegan daughter. She loves this type of dish so I made it mainly for her. It was LOVED by all!! And my husband isn’t even a ‘stew’ lover. Man Isa, you just never ever disappoint. Thanks AGAIN!

  • lilyredcloud

    I made this a week ago and it was wonderful! I used baby bellas instead of dried porcini because the store had only 1/2 ounce in stock.
    Since i have leftover sausage(WOW!) I’m going to make a half batch with my 1/2 ounce of porcinis. Thank you, Isa! Since I stumbled onto your vegan runzas(yeah I’m from Nebraska) being vegan has been so easy and a delicious adventure!

  • Kali Hess

    You are a genious!! Had the best day cooking this and then eating. Thanks so much.

  • Alyssa

    This was sooo delicious. I added celery, because why wouldn’t I? The only problem I had was with the porcinis. They ended up having a grittiness to them after cooking, as a previous commenter stated. After doing some research, I found other suggest rinsing the porcinis to help reduce the gritty sediment. Aaide from this little mishap, this stew was fantastic.

  • Matt

    Made this tonight and OMG… let me just say, my partner said, “This is company worthy – flavors I havent tasted in years!” The only change I made was added a few extra carrots because I love them. Oh, also I used Field Grain Italian sausages. Simply amazing, brilliant and will DEFINITELY be making this one again! BRAVO!

  • […] mesh of Isa’s seitan porcini stew and Rachael Ray’s sliced steak and mushroom barley […]

  • […] mesh of Isa’s seitan porcini stew and Rachael Ray’s sliced steak and mushroom barley […]

  • Mary

    This is great. I didn’t have tomato paste (I certainly didn’t use ketchup instead) and I used whatever the little white button mushrooms are called for the mushrooms, and it was great. My mom made one just like this, with meat, and this is even better. Best use of old Charles Shaw in a long time.

  • rainy jersey day + a ton of leftover seitan sausages from last weekends brunch party + 3 bottles of red wine = beef stew for sure <3

  • Laila

    Well, It’s may 25th and it snowed today. So I think that the weather calls for some comfort food and this recipe looks so, so good! I can’t wait to try it. Maybe I’ll even get a fire going. Who cares that its almost June when you have something this delicious to look forward to?

  • Mar

    I’m commenting awfully late, but I wanted to add that instead of the slurry I tried this with a “Picada”. This is something commonly used in Catalan cooking to thicken stews and recipes and it consists of a few ground almonds (or hazelnuts), a biscuit or a piece of stale bread, some liquid and maybe some garlic and few herbs. It’s delicious!

  • Hey there! I’m a belgian vegetarian, and stew-lover. 🙂 Everybody has their little tricks for the perfect stew, of course, and yourse sound really good. Especially the muchrooms (wich have been in my pantry for like forever, I don’t really like them in a risotto).
    My favorite trick is a good, full-bodied brown beer, wich adds al LOT of debt to any stew. Seriously, so much better then wine!
    And baking a little bit of finely chopped potatos in the biginning with the onions, because they give an amazing taste (like they form a crust, really, you wouldn’t expect it to be that good) and they thicken it in the end.
    And also (but i can’t take credit for this, as it is in every housewife’s not so animal friendly stew here) a bit bread with mustard on it to thicken.

  • Leya

    I made this with homemade seitan, yummmm. We’re so eating this tonight with fresh crusty bread!

  • […] I drew my inspiration from two sources. One being the fabulous Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her porcini beef stew. The other being this random recipe given to me by my Mother-in-Law, which rocked my taste […]

  • Renee

    1st week of going Vegetarian with my daughter and this is going to be my 1st made from scratch meal except for the sausages! I had to use shitake mushrooms and couldnt fins seitan but i found some vegetarian beef chunks from the Asian grocer Im going to try ( they look so much like real meat im hoping to fool my meat loving husband) Wish me luck 🙂

  • Sarah

    I can’t wait for our first rainy, winter night to make this!!!

  • Giorgia

    Hi there, in my quest of meat replacements which taste good, I found your website and… 10000 times thanks!!
    I have a questions: besides me wanting to cook as vegan as possible, my husband does not eat anything cooked in wine, and occasionally does not eat garlic either. Do you have any suggestion on what might replace the two of them in a stew like this?

    • IsaChandra

      Perhaps caramelizing the onions a bit would add extra flavor without garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar might do well to replace the wine.

  • […] in August while trying to work out how to use the veggies in my veg box. I borrowed heavily from this recipe on the Post Punk Kitchen website (which I highly, highly recommend for vegan recipes, by the […]

  • Harmony

    Making this in the slow cooker as I type and it’s coming along great.
    I took the potatoes, carrots, and onions and sauteed them with olive oil on medium on the stove until the onions caramelized and the potatoes and carrots started getting a little less firm.
    After that, I threw that mixture into the slow cooker along with the mushrooms and everything needed for the broth (spices, water, veggie broth, garlic etc) and cooked it on High for about 2 hours.
    After that, I threw in the meat substitute (Gard-in beef tips) and some frozen peas.

    I used shiitake mushrooms (just because they’re my favorite) and needed to add a bit more salt than recommended (didn’t measure, just to taste) but it’s coming along great. Going to serve it with a nice crusty bread and some cheese while we watch Lord of the Rings. :p

  • yum! it’s still entirely too hot here to be dreaming of stew, but that’s not going to stop me from making fauxsages next week and this stew as soon as I can. (I’ll crank the a/c if I have to!) Thanks so much!

  • Kristin

    In February I left a comment asking about what to do if you omit mushrooms (or, if it would still be good) – it is! I thoroughly enjoyed it w/o.

    That said, I’ve discovered miso since then – and just now made this again with a little dollop of miso added toward the end – YUM! I’m guessing that added something the mushrooms would have – it’s just a little richer. Either way, though, killer recipe 🙂

  • Brian York

    Vegan “beef” stew:)

  • Holly

    We made this tonight for dinner. I used tofurky italian sausages. I even forgot to add the tomato paste, but it was wonderful. We will be making it again. Thanks Isa!!!!

  • Helen

    Vegan “beef” stew

  • Gypsymoonshine

    I just made this and am eating it right now and it is AWESOME!! Before I was a vegan I loved stew and this takes me back haha. AND no cholesterol! Beautiful recipe for fall : )

  • Donna Johnson

    OMG ~ the smell if this in my kitch was heaven and the stew was delectable!! Thank you for this recipe ~ love gourmet comfort food!

  • CC

    Oh. My. Goodness. So my boyfriend and I have been on a seitan kick (as in going through 7 bags in a couple weeks) and I love your website! So anyway we decided to make this tonight, and it was FANTASTIC. So flavorful and rich. I used shitakes instead of porcinis because we had them on hand and I love shitakes and it was so good. They absorbed all that rich flavor. The only thing that seemed a little off was the consistency. Mine was super thick, which is not a bad thing, I just wasn’t sure if that’s how it was supposed to be. But other than that, it was spot on. So. Good. Keep being awesome.

  • Vanessa

    Just made this. I used dried porcinis and kielbasa vegan sausage (not the best choice, but what I could get). It seems pretty beef stew-y! It was easy to make.

  • […] posted this recipe for Seitan Porcini Beef Stew on Facebook recently. I never was all that into beef stew, pre-veganism, but for some reason, […]

  • Darren

    Supreme thanks for your time and effort in dialing this recipe in perfectly. I made it last night, using store-bought seitan, and it was outstanding. A malbec worked well for the red wine but I reduced the amount to 1/2 cup (leaving more for drinking while watching the debate – I needed it). Otherwise I followed the recipe precisely and I’m already looking forward to making it again for friends. Thanks again, Isa!

  • Delicious winter meal! I made it with home made seitan, instead of sausage, and it was amazing.

  • Karen

    Delicious and perfect for a cold night like tonight.

  • Heather

    Made this tonight, and wow, was this some wonderful comfort food! Had meant to make enough to have left overs, but we loved it so much we gorged ourselves and ate it all.

  • Fenice

    My husband requested a vegan shepherd’s pie for his birthday dinner, and I’d made this stew before (with fabulous results), so I used this recipe, slightly altered. I had some Gardein beefless tips, so used those instead of sausages, substituted parsnips for potatoes (not the full amount), and added some frozen peas. I skimmed off a bit of the gravy, topped the remaining stew with mashed potatoes, and into the oven to brown the potatoes a bit. Absolute heaven — my husband said it was the best shepherd’s pie he’d ever had (and he’d had my mother’s recipe in his pre-veg days). Plate-licking good!

  • Annie

    I just made this, and pardon my language, but holy shit this is good.
    I stuck to the recipe pretty closely, but I had some extra mushrooms lying around so I added those in the last 5 minutes of the potato step (in addition to the porcinis), and I thought it was a tad too thick so I added in some extra broth and red wine (about 1/2 cup broth and 1/4 cup wine).

    Seriously this is so satisfying. Go make this tonight.

  • […] try.  One pinned dish a week.  I can do that, right?  Speaking of new recipes, there’s a stew on the stove making my kitchen smell like warm cozies and bubbling sweet nothings into my ear… Share […]

  • Statch

    I made this tonight and it was wonderful. I didn’t use sausages, just the potatos and carrots, and it was still good. (I think I may try the Gardein beefless tips next time.) My husband’s not a big red wine fan, but I saw a comment suggesting beer instead, so I think I may also try that next time. I’d chop the mushrooms up and use less of them, since he’s also not a big mushroom eater. (But, hey, he’s willing to eat vegan!)

    I don’t know if anyone will see this to respond, but I was wondering if I’m supposed to cook the stew covered or uncovered after adding the potatoes? I did a mixture of covered and uncovered and it seemed to come out all right.

  • Julia W

    Made this for dinner tonight, except used packaged veggie sausages because I was feeling a bit lazy and had some around. It was fantastic! This website is turning me—who usually ruins the easiest of recipes—into someone who cooks delicious meals from scratch.

  • Molly

    I just made this and followed the recipe to a T (except I left out the “meat” and added frozen peas). It was delicious! I paired it with homemade vegan garlic biscuits. Thanks for the recipe! Yum!

  • SmokeCrackAndWatchAdventureTime

    This recipe is rad. Fuck the police.

  • Mike F

    I just cooked this and all I can say is WOW! this is the perfect Idaho winter warmer. Thanks for sharing

  • Ash

    o3o I don’t have all the ingredients (and I stay far away from alcoholic beverages) but I’m gonna try to use this recipe as a base because >.> I wish I had carrots or mushrooms. |D I’ll be making this with frozen veggies I found in the back of the freezer with a bag of veggie ‘beef’. wish me luck, I’ll let you know how it goes.

  • I used a 12 oz. package of Trader Joel Italian sausage. I had four carrots instead of three. I used 6 regular mushroomas and oat flour. The seasoning makes it. Great Beef-less stew ever.

  • Statch

    I hesitated over whether to post this review because I made a fairly major change, but it came out so well that I really wanted to thank you! I made it as is the first time, and my husband and I could tell what a high quality stew it was, but unfortunately neither of us really cares for the taste of red wine in cooking. So the second time, I was trying to think of a substitution that could still bring that complexity of flavor. I ended up using a 5.5-oz can of Spicy Low-Sodium V8 juice, then filling to the top of the cup with red wine. I also used 2 cups of homemade vegetable stock with 1 cup water + 1 ‘not-beef’ bouillon cube. Since my husband is also not a mushroom fan, I used about 1/3 the amount of dried porchinis and cut them up finely. He LOVED it. He said he’d go to a restaurant to get it. Thanks so much — this is the first dish that has given me some confidence that I can make vegan food he will actually enjoy, not just tolerate.

  • Laura

    I wonder what this would be like with polenta…

  • Statch

    I just had to tell you…I made this again for my husband (without the red wine, with the V8 juice). He had the leftovers for lunch, and told me today that I could make this everyday and he’d be happy. He said, “I don’t need to eat meat when we can have stuff like this.” Whoohoo! I’m going to try the shepherd’s pie version someone mentioned.

  • […] as a rule I do not like mushrooms.  But last year I took a leap of faith when a coworker made the PPK’s seitan porcini stew and the smell nearly made me grab a fork and join her in sharing her leftovers for lunch.  […]

  • Sarah

    Holy Wow Isa, you’ve done it again.Phenomenal .

  • So this was the recipe that changed it all for me. If this recipe never worked out, I wouldn’t have gone on but it was great and two weeks later and half a dozen recipes in, I decided to go and get the ‘Recipe for reduction’ book.

    I used shitake’s as suggested as I have a cupboard full of them but I kinda cheated and used Linda McCartney sausages at the time I had no idea what seitan was and I didn’t have time to make the sausages. I don’t even know if you get Linda Mccartney in the states…but here in the UK, Paul gave us the music, Linda gave us the best damm sausages!

  • Tyler

    Fantastic. So warming and delicious it makes me laugh in the face of the -40 wind chills we’ve been having!

  • This recipe is amazing! I substituted fresh oyster and cremini mushrooms for the porcini (because I’m cheap…). The sauce is just as flavourful and silky as Isa promises. It’s the perfect winter stew!

  • […] bring the night to a close we made PPK Seitan Porcini Beef Stew (http://www.theppk.com/2012/01/seitan-porcini-beef-stew/) and watched Les Misérables (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables). The stew was a bit […]

  • Meg

    I’ve made this. Sooooooo yum!

  • Alison

    This looks absolutely amazing. I’m going to try it. I’m Celiac (gluten free) and Vegan. Thank you so much for posting this. I have a question for you – I don’t drink wine and I don’t eat mushrooms. May I politely ask what I would substitute for these two items? Thank you so much. And you are a wonderful chef! Thank you again. Peace’n love, Alison

    • IsaChandra

      I think replacing the wheat, wine and mushrooms would be too many replacements for this to work. I’m sorry! I’m about to post a stew that would work for you, or try the Rustic Winter Stew With Polenta on the blog.

  • Alison

    Thank you Isa 🙂

    I’ll try this recipe next weekend with some substitutes and let you know how it turns out. I’ll replace the wheat with gluten free flour, the wine with maybe some balsamic vinegar. And, I’ll await your new recipe!

    Thank you so much for replying back. You are amazing.

  • Susan

    Well, you’ve certainly gotten the “DAYMN!” factor! Very delicious! The smells while this was cooking was heavenly enough but with that first bite.. “OH! WOW!” “YUMMMMMM”.. along with a full body sensation of melting.. oh, the deliciousness!

    Thank you for this! Keep them coming!

  • Lisa in Venice

    Finally someone takes on Cooks Illustrated. I have been telling those guys that they are making a mistake with Cooks Country and should go Vegan…. I adapt their recipes from time to time and really enjoy reading them…. like a culinary short story. And I even read the meat recipes… (yes I confess). But, I have adapted a number of the recipes to make them vegan. Cooks Illustrated is great for technique. I wish they would make more things Vegan Friendly. It is nice to see you referencing them as you gave us your process to make this dish… Go IsaChandra!!! Thanks. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Karly Grossman

    I made this tonight in my slow cooker – it was awesome! I just threw everything in there, up through the potatoes, substituting the porcini mushrooms with shiitakes and leaving out the fennel, and adding a bit of tamari sauce as well. I let that cook on high for about 2 hours. Meantime, I browned up some Gardein beefless tips and defrosted some frozen peas. Threw those in after hour 2. For the thickening “slurry,” I used broth instead of water, just because I had only a little left and figured better to use it then. I used almost double the tomato paste, and I whisked that in with the slurry so it would mix in thoroughly. After adding that in and giving it all a good stir, I let it cook just under another 2 hours on high, stirring every 20-30 minutes, and placing the lid so it was vented for the last half hour. It was absolutely delish! I haven’t had my grandmother’s beef stew in decades, but it was a definite childhood favorite of mine. I proudly dedicated this remake to her — once I knew it was good. (At 92, she’s earned the right to have an opinion on anything and everything, and I can’t wait to cook this for her and hear her review!)

  • […] participate in making a world that has a place for everyone. TRY THIS POST PUNK KITCHEN RECIPE Seitan Porcini Beef Stew ENDEARING ENOUGH TO MELT THE STONY HEART OF A GARGOYLE Remember these otters who liked to […]

  • Beth

    The Best!! I love this stew! I use the slow cooker and it always turns out well.
    Thanks Isa!

  • Kylie

    Made this tonight and as usual with your recipes it was fantastic – going to take the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Going to be a good day at work 🙂

  • Alex

    JUST finished making this for myself and the omni boyfriend- it was a huge hit! I’m so full, I may never eat again. It was thick, hearty and delicious. I made the sausages in the same session, so I was cooking for a good 2 hours, but it was definitely worth it. I didn’t have a steamer so I made a makeshift one with an upside down bowl in a few inches of water. I had to steam them for about an extra 30 min. In the stew I used dried shiitakes, and had to add a substantial amount of extra vegetable broth (probably around 2 extra cups) to get it to the right consistency. It was absolutely delectable though, thanks for a great recipe!

  • mike

    Isa, you are a genious! i love it!!!

  • Justin

    Great stew! Reminds me a bit of the Irish Stew from Appetite For Reduction! Great depth of flavour here!

  • Natalie

    I made this tonight and it was excellent. I wanted very much to eat half the pot!

  • […] the recipe above, I made Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s seitan stew. I altered the recipe a bit, to suit my taste and what I had on hand. I used sweet potatoes, fresh […]

  • Y

    Tried it with the field roast Roast, but without the mushrooms and it’s amazing!

  • Karen

    This looks so yummy. I just made the Italian sausages for the first time yesterday (they are already gone) and they turned out great! I’m going to make another batch and try this!!!!

  • This was awesome. I was too lazy to make my own sausages so I bought me some vegan Italian links that I sliced and browned. . I try to be gluten free so I did the corn starch slurry to thicken and worked great. I subbed dried mushrooms for fresh portabello. Delish. Thanks for the great recipe, will make again!!!

  • Liana

    I am going to try this! I was just thinking of how to do a stew the way my mother used to do it –but minus the meat. I was not sure …so googled and Everything that you said about the tofu–sauce etc is what I had thought…I really believe this recepe will work..I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for doing all the work.

  • I’ve NEVER made a stew THIS good! OMG! I’m getting GREAT at cooking thanks to recipes like this! THANKS! <3

  • It’s awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the views of
    all mates regarding this post, while I am also eager of getting familiarity.

  • Ashley in Louisiana

    Yummmmmm. Made this last night, but out of Isa Does It. Searched for it here so I could report a successful attempt! It was delicious. Tonight was Mushroom Stroganoff. Aaahh. I don’t think I could follow a plant based diet without Isa! But with all these recipes, we eat so well and are always excited to try another new recipe. Thank you, thank you.

  • Elizabeth

    Oh my goodness. This stew was freaking amazing. It was so good it only lasted my family of 2.5 (one-year-old baby is the 0.5) one night. I served it garlic bread and a glass of red wine. We all went back for seconds. We used the chickpea seitan recipe from Isa Does It for the sausages and they totally made the dish. Our local grocery store doesn`t sell porcini mushrooms so we used shitake. I`m making this again next week!

  • Thanks once again. I really can’t thank you enough, haha. Every recipe I have made from you is amazing and this is no exception. I didn’t use seitan (LOVE it though, it was just me being lazy and not wanting to make any) but I used Gardein beefless tips covered in flour and then sauteed. I also added some Shula’s steak sauce which is great by the way and some vegan Worcestershire sauce. It’s totally smooth and velvety like you said, and the perfect dinner for a cold night after a hard day’s work (made it with my love in mind.) Thank you times a million!!! You have made a huge impact on us and I feel like I’m a better cook now. 🙂

  • Danielle Juneu

    It’s really nice! I have done it many times. In the questions you suggest to use cornstach to make it gluten free. Well! The sausage in this recipe call for gluten!!! This could not be glutten free…

  • insanely amazing!
    the only changes I made were, I added chopped celery & peas…
    I steamed the sausage in fresh corn husks instead of tin foil….
    I used fresh shiitake mushrooms instead of dried porcini (couldn’t find any nearby)…
    and I think thats about it. I’ll definitely be making this stew & these sausages from now on.
    <3 #horror #metal

  • Eibhlin

    it’s far too hot here for stew but after stumbling across this recipe i couldn’t wait to try it. it is amazing! thanks for all the work you put into developing your divine recipes. best stew i have had in a long time if not ever, and i am irish and have eaten a lot stews in my lifetime 😉

  • Paula

    looks wonderful – however I don’t use all purpose flour – do you think chickpea flour would work?

  • Michelle

    I’m late to the party, but I just had to say I doubled this recipe for dinner tonight (and it ain’t cold in San Antonio in October!), and it is AMAZING. Unfortunately, I didn’t have mushrooms, as my hubby NEGLECTED to get them (even though they were on the list I sent with him to the store to get everything for this! But I’m not bitter!), so I put in a bag of frozen peas. I also used Tofurky Italian sausages, because… well, I had ’em.

    I guess the lesson learned from my alterations and the many others that I’ve seen in the comments is that this recipe is super delish and easy, and can be adapted to a variety of needs, tastes, and resources. Isa, you are the BOMB!

  • Nicole

    I just made this, and it was really delicious. Modifications I made (in case you, like me, didn’t have everything on hand) – regular white mushrooms instead of porcini, seitan strips instead of homemade sausages, ketchup instead of tomato paste. I also added a cup of green beans and took out a few oz. of potatoes. I had to cook the stew much longer than the specified time to get the potatoes and carrots to be sufficiently soft, but that wasn’t a big deal. I probably simmered the whole thing for an additional 30 minutes. I would highly recommend this stew to anyone looking for a classic version of a beef stew, veganized.

  • Just made this, and it’s FANTASTIC!!! Thank you so much!

  • Crystalyn

    Yum!!! I made this in my pressure cooker today using dried wild mushrooms, and subbing in a tbsp of balsamic with water for the wine (no alcohol in my house), and also used soy curls instead of sausage or seitan, and I really really love it. I didn’t need the flour at the end (probably b/c of the soy curls), and I’m so happy right now eating it. The fennel is sooooo nice in the stew, too! I totally splurged and am having a slice of bread with Earth Balance because it feels so homey to me that I just want what I use to have with stew as a kid!

  • Michelel

    This is f*cking amazing. I put in a ton of pepper and used baby portobellos. Perfect thing for a cold winter night.

  • […] one example of the new recipes I’ve been whipping up recently (you can get a very similar recipe here). The only modifications I made was reducing the amount of dried mushrooms, adding in an extra […]

  • Claudia

    Made this for lunch today and it was really, really good. Both my children loved it (I left out most of the salt for the littlest one and used balsamic vinegar + water instead of the wine). Also, I used a dried mushroom mix instead of just porcinis, and added a splash of soy sauce to the adults’ portions (soy sauce makes everything better, well, except for desserts maybe 😉 ). Yummy and totally comforting!

  • This recipe is amazing. Although…I have been totally confused about dried mushroom. The package makes it very clear to rehydrate them. But I can just add them to the stew and cooking them rehydrates….. Right?

  • Susanne

    Is the vegetable broth the kind with tomato in it or the No-chicken vegetable broth? What brand broth did you use?

  • Jay F

    I’m not much of a commenter, and there are already 191 comments, but I need to add my voice to the chorus of praise for this recipe. I have made it several times now, and It’s as good as it sounds. The gravy is silky and rich, the sausages provide a contrasting texture, and the porcini enrich the flavor and color. Thanks for a great one.

  • Michelle

    Omg thank you thank you! When I got the call this morning that the office was closed due to snow, I knew it was the day to finally try to make a vegetarian beef stew. I found this recipe and knew it was exactly what I was looking for!! Here’s how I tweaked it: I used store bought broth, but amped it up by boiling it with a mixed dry mudroom blend, some marsala and some tamari. I strained the mushrooms, chopped them finely and added them with the porcini. I also added fresh sliced shiitake with the potatoes, which added some delightful, silky texture. I threw in some frozen peas halfway through the potatoes cooking, mainly for color. The stew was everything I dreamed and more. Serious deliciousness.

  • […] Seitan Porcini Beef Stew – The PPK […]

  • Sophie

    This stew is so lovely and tasty. I used nutritional yeast instead of flour and the sauce thickened up nicely and had a pleasant tang. I also used sweet potatoes instead of regular. It was delicious and my boyfriend agreed. Thank you!

  • This was unbelievably good! In my household we have one omnivore adult, one 60-70% plant-based adult, one vegan adult and two “I eat whatever mama makes” kids. Every single person in the house raved about this stew. Truly, I had no idea a vegan stew could be so rich, so velvety, so deeply flavored (in a way that is familiar to my American palate). This is an absolute winner.

  • AL


    I am afraid could be dangerous to make it in a slow cooker. Because the porcini mushrooms must be cooked adequately so you don’t get sick from them. I am afraid if your slow cooker doesn’t get hot enough you could get very ill. I’m sorry I don’t know the required temperature and I’m bad. I don’t know what to do.

    I’m sorry. I am bad and fail to keep people safe.

    I don’t want you or anyone to get sick or die due to me. Please please please be safe.

    I’m sorry there may be many other dangers in the recipe. I don’t know. I’m bad. I’m bad. Please keep safe!

  • Miriam

    Attention! You must make this. It is amazing!!!! I’ve made it multiple times, slightly different each time based on what I have available, and it’s always amazing!

  • Shara

    This is one of my top five favorite meals of all time. When I feel sick, tired, and/or cranky, I crave this stew. Now that I think about it, I crave it when I am alert, happy, and feeling healthy. My husband substitutes the stein or sausage with Gardein beef tips (he puts it in a few minutes before turning the stove off). I can’t thank you enough for creating this recipe!!I could eat pots of it.

  • I made this last night, to celebrate a chilly and rainy start to the Labor Day weekend and it was SO good! I’d browsed past it a few times in my Isa Does It! cookbook, and I am glad I stopped on the page yesterday and decided to go for it. I used Field Roast sausages, but next time, I’ll try making the vegan sausage in the book, which looks even yummier than the Field Roast stuff.

  • CorInCork

    I made this without mushrooms, because I didn’t have any, and used homemade seitan (http://vegweb.com/recipes/baked-seitan-best-meaty-texture-ever). I am absolutely in love with this recipe! The sauce is to die for. It is a fantastic No-Beef Stew at roughly 400 calories per large bowl. 🙂

  • Lulu

    It’s smelling so good in Cambridge, MA tonight. Spot on with the dried porcini mushrooms!

  • Jenn

    So, I just tried this recipe and it was amazing! When I served it my carbivore husband exclaimed “that looks like the little meats and gravy” we used to have as kids! He took one bite and continued to say “I feel like the food critic in ratatouille, I just took one bite and was transported back to my childhood.” He licked the bowl clean!

  • Hello, I made this the other night and it was VERY TASTY!! Your recipes are certainly at the top of my plant based recipes. I also bought an Instant Pot and I am trying to convert as many of your recipes to Instant Pot as possible. Keep up the good work!!

  • danakscully64

    I made this recipe last night and it was delicious! I couldn’t find porcini mushrooms (out of stock at my store), so I replaced them with shiitake. Next time I make this, I will leave them out all together, as I didn’t like the texture. I used BTB beef style stock, which really made this taste amazing. I was worried that the carrots would be undercooked, but they had the perfect bite to them. Thanks!

  • Michele G

    This is in my crock pot right now, made the sausages this morning which are awesome! Can’t wait for dinner!
    Thanks for sharing it!

  • I am a chef and information related to eating well with me. Continue reading more articles on food for me to study.

  • I’ve made it many times it is an excellent recipe!

  • Joshua A. Price

    Had meant to make enough to have left overs, but we loved it so much we gorged ourselves and ate it all. https://www.orlandotreesolutions.com

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