My Faux Meat Irish Stew

I am proud, well proud of this stew.  It melts in your mouth, but not without cheering your taste buds first.

This stew is in part inspired by different stews I have made over the years (Irish Stew being one of them) – the result is astounding in terms of taste and texture.  As for the aroma, well that’s in a league of its own.

The combination of vegetables chosen are all-time favourites for many people worldwide (feel free to substitute one veg with another if you wish).

I’ll say no more, and let you be the judge and indulge yourself in this amazing delightfully mouthwatering stew.

Happy Thanksgiving to you, and all your loved ones too.  This recipe can also be made any time of the year, and is a total winner – that’s guaranteed.

TIP :  Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.  Serve with hot petit pois, and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy !!!

Serves 3-4

NOTE : Can be served with my Golden Cheddar’d Potatoes

4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, sliced thinly
1 large leek, sliced
5 carrots, roughly chopped
3 medium to large potatoes, cut roughly into square pieces
1½ Tbsp pearl barley, thoroughly rinsed  (soak overnight, or for a few hours, then drain and rinse them before use)
4 cups (1 L) water
3 heaped tsp vegetable stock powder, or granules, or a cube, such as Kallo
3 medium sized portobello mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups faux meat of your choice cut into big cubes. This could be either fake meat, or soya chunks, or vegan burger chunks, or seitan pieces, the choice is yours. But it is essential to add this as it contrasts with the soft/melting textures of the veggies
2 bay leaves
1 heaped Tbsp plain flour or cornstarch (mix this into a paste with ¼ cup cold water)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp vegan butter
salt to taste
freshly chopped parsley, for garnishing


Heat up your oil in a large saucepan (I used Le Creuset for this).Next, add the onions, leeks and the carrots, and allow them to sweat for a few minutes as you stir from time to time.

Now add the bay leaves, and continue stirring so they emit their magical flavours.

Next, add the potatoes and the stock powder/granules or cube – if you are using a cube be sure to melt it down first, by pouring ¼ cup of boiling water into a cup, adding the cube, and mashing it down with a teaspoon, until it fully dissolves.

Now add the remaining ingredients, except for the faux meat, flour/cornstarch and mushrooms.

When the potatoes and carrots are soft, add the mushrooms and fake meat – simmer for 30 minutes, and then stir in the flour mix, and the butter.  Taste for salt, and add according to your taste. Enjoy !

All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell 2010

These are free recipes for your pleasure – all we ask in return is that you take a few moments to leave us a constructive comment !

suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike


  1. This looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing your wonderful creations.

  2. Miriam:

    NOW I know what I am having on Thanksgiving! Its been a toss up between a tofu pot pie, nothing but just sides or breakdown and eat turkey (UGH).



  3. Miriam, could you use this as a filling for a pot pie? Do you have a recipe for a savory pie crust? LOVE your recipes!! When is that book coming out?? 🙂

  4. Cindy Hi there and thanks for popping by here. Yes, the answer is you can have this as a filling, it would work very well. Pie crust at this minute I do not have to hand – that said any ready made pie crust, puff or otherwise will do the job – one that is vegan. So, either one you can purchase or google for more info. I will be posting up a pie or two this winter. Let me know how it goes. My book is out late spring, some months from now. Will notify you via email if you wish. Best wishes your way in the meantime Cindy !

  5. Oh Jenna that’s fabulous news ! Let me know how it goes as and when. This one is very delicious ! Best wishes your way till then.

  6. Debbie HI there and welcome here. Thanks for your very kind words and I look forward to your future comments and feedback on my blog as and when. Cheers to you !

  7. Michael (from Facebook)

    Shared on Facebook! 🙂

    Something like this hearty Vegan repast should be the centerpiece at the holiday dinner table during Thanksgiving, instead of some carcass! 🙂

  8. Hi Michael, thanks for your input and apt idea. Thanks also for sharing on FB. Best to you as always !

  9. love your website!…i think i will try this one 🙂
    thank you

  10. Pingback: My Oh My – Hearty Thanksgiving Stew – Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes™ | Muskegonvegan's Blog

  11. Miriam, is there a link to your new book? I’d like to know as soon as it is available to purchase! So looking forward to getting it!

  12. Dear Anne, many thanks for your interest in my book. I am taking your email address as ‘we speak’ and will be sure to notify you closer to the time. The book is published by Random House and is due out in the late spring (some months from now I know, but it will be worth the wait, bursting out with the most delicious vegan recipes ever – and many of them too plus pics). I look forward to your future comments on my blog and best wishes your way in the meantime !

  13. Thanks for Pingback.

  14. Daniel Hi there and thanks for your kind words. Do come back and let me know how this goes ! Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  15. Hi Miriam, I’ve just discovered your sites and I am astounded at all the delicious things you can make as a vegan. We’ll definitely be adjusting our diet, thank you! I’d love to see your book when it comes out, please keep me in the loop. Thank you for the inspiration!

  16. Wow ~ I am making this right now. Smells amazing!

  17. Hope you make and enjoy it Shirley.

  18. Hi there Anne, glad you are making this stew. Let me know if you enjoyed it ! Best to you !

  19. Hi there Sofie and thanks for dropping by here with your comment. I am delighted that you have found my site and if you browse the category section on the right hand side, you will see the many recipes that you can choose from. My book is due out in the late spring, some months from now – published by Random House and I will take your name and e-mail address add it to my list and let you know closer to the time before it’s out there. Meantime, best wishes your way and I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog. Cheers !

  20. I love making stews – one of my favourite meals! I’m going to try this method as it looks really tasty. I don’t normally put cornflour (cornstarch) in but can see how it would make it creamier and more “sauce” like. Will let you know how it goes 🙂

    I love your recipes – especially as they have gorgeous pictures with them. Please also keep me in the loop apropos your recipe book. Thanks!

  21. Jane Hi there and welcome here. Many thanks indeed for your great comment. I very much look forward to your future comments and feedback here and hope you love my stew. The other stew I created the one ‘like my mamma used to make’ is every bit as great as this – only it’s a tomatoed based one (my favourite) – just so that you keep it in mind for a next time. I have taken your name and email address Jane and will contact you close to the time when my book is due out (please do hang in there as the book is full of many fabulous recipes, pics, you name it and very apt for impressing the non-vegan). Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  22. Delicious! Made this tonight with a parsnip subbing for a carrot and a yam along with the
    tatos. Definitely will be on the repeat roster! Thanks.

  23. Kathy Hi there and welcome here. I am glad you made this and enjoyed it, more to the point that you will be repeating it on a roster. That’s awesome. Best wishes your way !

  24. This looks amazing! Going to try it this weekend.
    Just wondering about omitting the barley to make it gluten free. Do you think quinoa or rice would work? I will be sure to let you know how it was!

  25. Jennifer Hi there and thanks for your comment. I think that short grain white rice will do the trick instead of the barley in this instance. Yes, do let me know how it goes and best wishes your way !

  26. Sounds/Looks Very Polish – am going to make it today!
    Happy Thanksgiving Miriam!

  27. Hi there Sylwia, welcome to my blog and hope you make and enjoy this recipe – let me know how it goes as and when. I do hope you enjoy it ! Thanks for the happy wishes. Best to you too !

  28. Sounds delicious! I am actually looking forward to making this in the next couple days. My only question: is the amount of pearl barley required (1.5 Tbsp) correct and, if so, why so little barley? Can I add a bit more? It seems like an almost negligible amount. Thanks for this recipe and your response.

  29. Hi there Kevin and welcome here. The amount of barley is so small because the potatoes, carrots and other ingredients pretty much have enough saying in the stew and once the potatoes soften they help to add to the thickness of it – the barley is there for a different texture, it pretty much swells up and does not need to take up more space in the stew as it will then be devoid of enough ‘stew-juice’ – by all means add a little more if you prefer/wish, but don’t overdo it. Hope you enjoy the taste and come back with your feedback as and when. Best to you !

  30. I had adventures with this one! First, when it said ‘add the rest of the ingredients’ – I did so, forgetting to read ahead. So when it later said ‘add cornstarch and butter’ I had a wee panic because I already had!!! oops! But it turned out delicious still. I initially put TVP chunks in, then spent 10 minutes fishing them all out again because I decided they were not nice… And replaced them with vegan sausages. So, in the end, I got there! lol. It is a really yummy stew, great for a cold night (though it is summer here and that ought not happen, today it is COLD so perfect!)

  31. Hi there Kelly and welcome here. You sure did have a very adventurous time in the kitchen – ahead of yourself, I get the impression you are a fast thinker ! A very passionate person from the glimpse I had of your blog (both great attributes) ! Do make this again at some point with the faux ‘chicken’. I very much look forward to your future comments here and still glad you enjoyed it. Very best wishes your way ! 🙂

  32. I made this for the day after Thanksgiving (i had only vegan sides this year…they were wonderful) and I will tell you Miriam, this is the best, most filling and satisfying meal I’ve experienced in some time.

    It was wonderful! Just like you! :))

  33. Love your site, thank you!

  34. We tried this for Thanksgiving and it was so amazing!

  35. Kim dear, thanks for coming back with your feedback – I am delighted. Could I now suggest that you go to my home page and see what I have prepared for the Xmas table. If you celebrate Xmas, or if you do not, you may wish to try out these new delights ! Best wishes your way and I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog !

  36. Why thank you so much there Kim. How kind of you to say so !

  37. Jenna Hi there and thanks so much for coming by here with your ever-so-wonderful feedback. I sure am delighted that you have made, served and enjoyed this stew – it really is something else. Thanks and visit my blog in the next day for the full Xmas Menu. You won’t regret it I assure you ! Meantime, best wishes your way Jenna !

  38. so glad I found your site, can’t wait to try out some of your recipies.

    thks so much!

  39. Hi there Wendy and welcome here. So glad you found my blog and I look forward to your feedback and comments on my blog. Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  40. Pingback: Anonymous

  41. Hope you enjoy my stew.

  42. Thanks for all your free recipes!

  43. Many thanks for your acknowledgment Song.

  44. Going to make this tomorrow possibly in the slow cooker so it’s ready when I get home from work – it looks and sounds delicious. Just a thought, would it be possible for you to say which of your recipes are suitable for freezing? Thanks, Barbara.

  45. Hi there Barbara and welcome here. I think this recipe will work well in your slow cooker, be sure the potatoes will soften well and also the other stew like my mamma used to make is an ideal slow cooker one you may wish to try at some point too – it’s a winner. With regards to freezing, the reason why I don’t mention it is simply because I myself have a full freezer and no space to freeze and I usually create recipes for the day and they get eaten before they even get a look-in, so either way I am not in a win-win situation regarding freezing. That said these stews and other stews usually do well when frozen as is the case with other sauces and curries from here. Let me know how it goes Barbara and enjoy !

  46. Hi Miriam,
    I made this for supper tonight with Linda Macartney sausages and it was absolutely wonderful! The thing that struck me most was its richness in comparison to other veggie stews that I have made. Will definately make it again and looking forward to your roast for Christmas lunch tomorrow 🙂
    Thanks so much!

  47. Hi there Sally and many thanks for dropping by here with your comment. So glad that you enjoyed my stew ! It is very rich I agree, and glad you will be making this again, it’s perfect for winter ! Best wishes your way and I look forward to your future comments on my blog !

  48. my husband loved it! I used some mexican spiced tofu for texture and worked like a treat!

  49. Isabella Hi there and glad that you enjoyed this stew and that it worked so well with tofu, that’s great news ! Cheers your way !

  50. I can’t find a faux meat that I’m fond of, but love the veggies!! To add more protein instead of using the faux meat, I use Tofutti sour cream in it. Makes it creamy and a little thicker and tastes amazing, thanks for sharing!!

  51. Deanie Hi there and welcome here. Redwood is has a great ‘chicken style pieces’ 100% Vegan. Then there is Gardein and a few others too ! Many of them are not palatable I agree. We love Linda McCartney’s sausages and crumble/mince ‘meat’ all 100% vegan. Another way you could eat this stew is with a carb such as brown rice and I’m sure the tofutti creams the stew up nicely ! Cheers !

  52. This looks and sounds heavenly. I think I will try this with both my home made seitan and also again with my Gardein beefless tips.

  53. Hi there Kristina and welcome here. I am sure this will work well with both. Let me know how it goes. Best wishes your way in the meantime.

  54. Hi Miriam,the first time I made this I wasn’t really sure if my kids would like this, because they’re not into fruits and veggies, much more of meat. And would you believe that they loved it especially my youngest daughter, they didn’t even noticed that there was o meat in it. For so many years I been trying a lot of recipes that will suit their taste, I almost gave up not until I stumbled into your website while searching for vegetarian recipes. Your recipes are very easy to prepare and they’re really delicious. Little by little I’ve been trying to replace meat with vegan tofu or any faux meat which I purchase in an organic shop near us. I want, want to change our everyday eating lifestyle. Thanks to you now I can have and can prepare healthy meals for my family.

  55. Dear Glaire, many thanks for your comment here. I am totally impressed by your attitude and perseverance for searching hi and lo and finding my recipes, preparing them, serving and enjoying them – a huge KUDOS goes to you for taking this path. My food is all plant based and no dairy means a healthier choice. That said, I never ever compromise the taste, why ? because I loved both meat and dairy back in the day and taste is of outmost importance – in fact the balance lies within that philosophy. I have a fussy eating 6 year old daughter, and I entertain many people, including non-vegans, and I push the boundaries to the point where I try and make my food as irresistible as good tasting non-vegan dishes – it’s both a science and an art, but the result is so very, very rewarding, time after time. I am totally inspired and impassioned, and comments such as yours help to fuel me further on my path in the quest of making the best vegan dishes ever. Thank you and may I suggest that I add you to our new upcoming Monthly newsletter (it’s free to join it), as you have a family it will be of outmost importance to you ! I look forward to your future comments on my blog and best wishes your way in the meantime !

  56. Hi Miriam, oh I would love to be in your monthly newsletter. Thank you and keep up the good work 🙂

  57. Have just added you Glaire.

  58. I will try this tomorrow! Thank you for this recipe.. gives me more spirit to cook for my son (who is a bit picky)
    In chinese cooking, we could use a bit of salty soy sauce

  59. Liany Hi there and thanks for your comment. I will await your feedback and enjoy. Best wishes your way in the meantime !

  60. Unfortunately mushrooms and my body don’t seem to get along together; but this looks so yummy that I was wondering if you could recommend a good substitute for them? Thanks for sharing all the wonderful, healthy recipes. You are changing lives and the world for generations to come. Amazing!!!

  61. Janet Hi there and welcome here. What wonderful words you bestow in your comment, thank you. Now, for the substitution of mushrooms I am going to recommend eggplant instead – cut it up into squares of say half an inch and fry them up a little first, then add them instead of the mushrooms – the beauty of using eggplant in this instance is that it will absorb very nicely the taste of the stew/juice and will burst in your mouth with flavour ! Come back with your feedback as and when, and enjoy ! 🙂

  62. I made this last night and it was absolutely delicious. I used Quorn ‘chicken-style’ pieces and added lots of fresh herbs and spices. Love the idea of using pearl barley! It was really cold and this dish was a welcome treat – cosy (: thanks again for your wonderful recipes

  63. You are welcome Debbie, so glad you made and enjoyed it !

  64. Another recipe I’ll make in the coming days.
    One thing I’ll have to leave out of it though is that pearl barley.
    Can’t seem to find a good translation for it to Dutch so I have no idea what it exactly is.

  65. Hi Pascal, here is the translation into Dutch that I came across Pearl Barley = parelgerst, geparelde gerst – here is where you can buy it from:- Hope this helps you.

  66. Very kind of you for helping me out with this 🙂

  67. You’re welcome Pascal. 🙂

  68. This looks amazing! I wonder, could it be made in a slow-cooker, and how?

  69. Hi Marya. What you need to do is follow the instructions up to no.5 when it says add the remaining ingredients if you are making this in a slow cooker add ALL the remaining ingredients and cook until all is soft in your s.cooker. Enjoy !


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