My Mums Secret Beefless Finger Licking Stew

My Greek mother used to make many different stews – all were rich, and full of colour and flavour.  This is based on one she made, which I have veganized, and given it my mouthwatering vegan touch.

It came out beautiful, luscious, warming, hearty and so very, very delicious.  I never get an impulse to lick the plate clean, instead I let some Italian bread do that for me.

You will love this !  Oh, and it’s very child friendly – I can vouch for that from my childhood memories, and my daughter’s love of this dish !  Enjoy !

Serve with fresh Italian bread, or French baguette, and raw onion wedges (Greek-style, but not very romantic !)

olive oil, or other of your choice
2 medium sized white onions
2 to 3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 to 4 cups of water
1½ Tbsp plain flour
1 to 2 tsp vegan margarine (optional, but it creams it up nicely)
3 medium sized carrots, chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, chopped
the zest of a lemon
a little rosemary (optional)
1 green apple, peeled, cored and chopped
salt to taste (I used my smoked one – available in the US from here, and in the UK from here)
½ cup red wine, or unsweetened red grape juice
1 tsp dried stock granules
1 cup chopped meatless pieces – I used VBites Redwood beef-style pieces, or TVP chunks, or 1 cup firm silken tofu, chopped into squares, and pre-grilled or fried until golden – allow to cool before using, or 1 cup of precooked beans of your choice
chopped cooked spinach (optional)
cracked black pepper


Mince the onions and garlic in your food processor, or patiently chop them finely.

Meanwhile, heat up some oil in a casserole pan, add the onions and garlic, and gently fry.

Next, add the meatless pieces (or pre-fried tofu, or pre-cooked beans), and fry with the onions and garlic for a few further minutes, turning a few times until they get some colour.

Now add your bay leaves, potatoes, apples and carrots. Stir in the flour and mix well, then add the tomato paste, continue mixing, and pour in the wine.  Add the margarine, rosemary, and 1 cup of water, and allow to simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients (except for the spinach and lemon zest), and simmer gently for a further 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 300ºF (150ºC).

Place your casserole (covered for the 1st 40 minutes then uncover for the last 20, but keep an eye on the amount of liquid left, the sauce should be of a thick consistency so adjust accordingly if it needs a tiny bit more water, add it in) in the oven for over an hour, until the potatoes soften completely.

Then stir in your lemon zest and spinach, and allow them to settle in with the flavours for a few minutes before serving. You want the ‘melt in your mouth effect’ with the potatoes.

Bon Appétit !


All recipes and content © Miriam Sorrell 2010




  1. Wow, Miriam! this looks delicious. Thank you.

  2. For those of us eating gluten free, can you substitute another kind of flour?

  3. Do you need to put the lid on the casserole ish when in oven,.,.,.,.???

  4. I love making stew at this time of year! Usually with some big dumplings on top 😀 I love that you added an apple – never tried that before but I bet it adds to the autumnal flavours! Will have to try this one 🙂 pinning!

  5. Will definitely try this one. Look forward to seeing your book, and we would love to have you in our magazine.

  6. Hi San, thanks and I do hope you make and enjoy this ! Let me know when my book reaches you and best wishes your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  7. Becca Hi there. This is ideal for the season change, is very warming and hearty – do let me know what you think when you have made it and tasted it ! Best your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  8. Hi Paul, now that you have made this, do let me know what you think. I have incuded covering in the oven, see recipe ‘method’. Best your way ! 🙂

  9. Hi Therese, sure thing – an all purpose flour, or tapioca, cornstarch, arrowroot or a mixture of these would do the job nicely. Let me know what you think once you have made and tasted it ! 🙂

  10. You are most welcome Louise, let me know how it goes as and when you have made and tasted it. Best your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  11. Thank you for this timely recipe! Although we try to eat oil free as much as possible, we’ve been wanting stew and this has less oil/butter than most I’ve found, and looks like it will actually taste like stew!

  12. Christine Hi, this really is an awesome and hearty stew, I do hope you enjoy it ! Remember with any recipe here if you wish to reduce the oil further, do and add a little extra stock, although this recipe is pretty low in oil. Enjoy the flavours and let me know what you think once you have tried it ! 🙂

  13. Hi,

    I’ve only just discovered TVP and it’s turned out great in a bolognese sauce I built. In this recipe, how do i use the TVP chunks? Are they cooked or soaked first? I found that cooking the TVP ‘mince’ wasn’t good at all but then i put it in dry and let it soak up all the yummies and it rocked!

  14. Geneane Hi there. Thanks for dropping by here with your comment. With the TVP chunks, you can either hydrate them in hot water, or use them dry in the stew once liquid has been added – either way they will work. Enjoy and let me know how it all goes. Cheers your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  15. Miriam:
    I just discovered your site and it looks fantastic! I am eager to begin trying your recpies and wonder if you might consider adding how many each recipe is meant to serve?

    Thank you for offering the wonderful looking recipes. I will share more feedback after I have tried a few.


  16. I made this today using seitan chunks. I added some dried porcini mushrooms I had on hand. I soaked them in boiling water and combined the mushroom water with my regular veggie stock to make it richer. This stew is amazing! (My meat eating companion even liked it)
    : )

  17. Thanks for dropping by with your feedback Erin, so glad you and your non-vegan companion enjoyed it – that’s fabulous news ! I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! 🙂

  18. Daniel Hi. So glad you discovered my site, welcome ! Now regarding how many each of my dishes serves. I have found that portions sizes differ, appetite’s differ, what may be a portion to you is 2 portions to somebody else. Some people love big portions, others small, some people have huge appetites for savoury dishes, others for sweet dishes and so on – it is a subjective matter. Many of my dishes (especially the sauces I make) serve in my opinion around 3-4 servings, but again that is a subjective view. Forgive me for sounding a little vague or complicated, but believe me, I have seen so many sites and from personal experience where portion sizes are given and people write in saying there was too much or too little – this is very time consuming and a perfect resolve is never reached. I cook for 3-4 so try to base it on that if you can, then see for yourself. If there is more left, then you can refrigerate for another time. Hope this helps you and I look forward to your future comments and feedback on my blog ! 🙂

  19. I made this last night. It really was wonderful, however, I think I’d cut back on some of the lemon. I LOVE lemon, but the zest of a whole lemon was a bit much for me.
    Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and all your hard work.

  20. Sure thing Jeanie, glad you enjoyed it. It’s funny with the zest, sometimes some lemons are stronger than others, and some zesters takepeel off more of the pith (the white of the citrus fruit) than others and that yields a more than desirable bitter taste, but less is sometimes more if in fact you prefer less. Glad you made it and enjoyed it though just the same ! 🙂

  21. Oh my gosh this looks incredible!! Can’t wait to make it on a chilly November night after work 🙂

  22. Andie Hi, hope you make and enjoy it ! 🙂

  23. This recipe is wonderful! I am amazed how rich and meaty this tasted! My boyfriend quizzed me on what was in the stew, wondering if i had un veganized it!!

  24. Great compliment there Stephanie, you know it’s a star recipe when the feedback is as good as yours from your boyfriend. Kudos to you for making it ! 🙂

  25. My daughter and I made this stew on the weekend and we absolutely loved it – especially the sauce! The addition of the apple was so clever. I am going to double the recipe next time as there weren’t any leftovers!!!

  26. Sharon Hi there, that really is excellent news, and so glad you enjoyed it. I think that making double quantities is a great idea ! 🙂

  27. Jackie van der Meer-Cairncross

    I made this for my family tonight. Massive thumbs up from all. I loved the addition of apple. Would never have thought to add that to a stew. I also added some kidney beans and smoked paprika. It was finger licking good :-).

  28. Sounds like a HUGE success dear Jackie, I get you go the thumbs up, well done and kudos to you form making this to share with your family. I look forward t your future comments on my blog ! 🙂

  29. Wow – I made this at the weekend it was delicious!! I made it with a tin of braised tofu instead as I couldn’t get hold of any beef-style pieces. I just came across your website last week and I cant wait to try more of your recipes. Thanks 🙂

  30. Hi there Jenny and I hope you enjoy my recipes here and I look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Best your way in the meanitme ! 🙂

  31. Beautiful dish and reading the ingredients is truly making my mouth water! What is the reason for adding an apple? I assume it’s for sweetness but maybe I’m wrong. Can’t wait to make this Miriam!

  32. Hi there Beachmama, and welcome here. The apple gives it that edge with a little of it’s tartness and has a lovely texture, as well as a contrast with the potato which is starchy ! Hope you make and enjoy it ! 🙂

  33. I am looking forward to trying this.

  34. Let me know how it goe Michele. 🙂

  35. One of my favourites. I used tvp crumbles and Gardein beefless tips. I plan on adding some lentils next time, too.

    Thank-you for such a lovely recipe. ^_^

  36. Nuu Hi there, I am so glad you made and enjoyed this. Yes, a mixture of the faux ‘meats’ with the lentils will be perfect. 🙂

  37. Just eaten my first attempt at this, used TVP mince as could not get chunks, but have to say it is absolutely gorgeous. Thanks once more for your fab site and life saving recipes!

  38. You are welcome dear Catherine, and I am so happy you are enjoying this. I very much look forward to your future comments on my blog ! Cheers ! 🙂

  39. Miriam you are a dangerous woman thanks to you I have just ordered a Vitamix blender. Sounds awesome !

  40. And just noticed last two comments are against the wrong meal, I actually made the fussili asta dish!

  41. Good on you dear Catherine, but I promise you, you won’t be disappointed ! 🙂

  42. No worries Catherine 🙂

  43. I made this the other day, and it was to die for, everyone at home loved it. Can’t wait for Christmas, so I can make your new savoury log 😀

  44. Ana Hi and thanks for letting me know – I am delighted that everybody loved it at home, bravo for making an sharing it with all. I very much look forward to your feedback on my new savoury log as and when and best wishes your way in the meantime ! 🙂

  45. Hi again Miriam, I made this dish on a Sunday afternoon for my wife and I using Gardein “beef” tips. I intended to have some left over for lunch the next day but we loved it so much that we ate it all in one sitting. We ended up making a double batch and enjoyed it for lunch the entire week!! My wife and I both struggle with finding comfort food vegan recipes. This one fits the bill perfectly. Thanks so much. I just attempted to purchase your book on Amazon and saw it was sold out!! Congratulations.

  46. Michael Hi and thanks for dropping by here with your comment. I am delighted both you and your wife enjoyed this stew. My blog consists mainly of vegan comfort food, most of it healthy of course, but taste always comes first here. Now here is another link where you can purchase my book onine Michael also I am writing comfort food recipes of VEGAN FOR LIFE Magazine, check them out here (see magazine cover, the bottom covers a few of what I write exclusively for them). subscribe here :- Thanks and I look forward to your future comments on my blog. If you do order my book, let me know when it reaches you. Kindest and warm wishes for the Holiday Season to you and your wife ! 🙂

  47. Hi Miriam! I wonder how this might work in a crock pot? I was thinking a low setting for about 8 hrs. What do you think?

    Cheers and love!

    – Kristina

  48. If you are going to make this in a crockpot, add the wine in the end – the potatoes and carrots must soften. Tip:- it may pay to boil the potatoes and carrots until soft and then proceed with the recipe. Enjoy and let me know how it goes ! 🙂

  49. Pingback: My Mum’s Secret Beefless Finger Licking Stew | Mun's Page

  50. Loved this, not sure about the apple (went a bit of a weird texture when cooked!) but a great success in my usually meat-eating household!

  51. Katie Hi there and welcome here. Glad you made and enjoyed my stew – the apple in the main is supposed to all but melt, but the flavour it imparts marries very well with the stew. I look forward to your future comments on my blog and enjoy ! 🙂

  52. Hi just to let you know that I made this last night for dinner and it was absolutely delicious! The only thing I was not mad on were the soya chunks I used so might try Quorn or Seitan next time, but that’s nothing to do with your recipe, but my choice of meat substitute.

  53. Hi there Michelle – so glad you made and enjoyed this stew. The choice of faux meat is crucial to the outcome and result of the stew, that said, once you find the faux meat you like, then you’ve a perfect stew to look forward to, time and time again. 🙂

  54. Really a very, very delicious meal! Going to make it again tonight!

  55. Hi Eric, so glad you made and enjoyed it. I hope you make and enjoy many other recipes from my blog ! 🙂

  56. I made this stew Monday for the family lunches : was skeptical at first, but did not regret it! Excellent recipe. Being part-time vegan is way easier with you around 🙂

  57. Emile Hi, thanks for dropping by and letting me know. So glad you enjoyed this and there are many more you can make up too ! Best your way ! 🙂

  58. This looks great. I am going to make it with my home-made seitan and/or dutch brown beans. Probably both! What would you serve it with? Maybe some nice mash and brocolli?

  59. Hi there Martin and welcome here. I would serve it as suggested at the bottom of the recipe : “Serve with fresh Italian bread, or French baguette, and raw onion wedges (Greek-style, but not very romantic !)” Now all that said, it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t serve it with potatoes as it already has potatoes in the stew itself. Hope this helps you.

  60. I HAVE made this and can confirm that if is truly delicious

  61. Thank you Michelle and thanks for dropping by here to let me know ! 🙂

  62. Hey Miriam: I’ve had this recipe for a while waiting for the perfect opportunity to make it! The photos make it look so warm and yummy inviting. My husband makes our bread and this will go perfectly with it.

  63. I do hope you have made and enjoyed this Laura ! 🙂

  64. This looks delicious and it is. So simple, yet so full of flavour. Great on its own or with good bread. Highly recommended.

  65. just found a link to this recipe on FB… gonna make it tomorrow for dinner… looks wonderful!!!!

  66. Larry Hi – how did it work out, did you enjoy it ? 🙂

  67. So very glad you enjoyed it dear Yvonne ! 🙂

  68. Wow amazing =)=) I cook from your website almost every day =) everything tastes heavenly =) thank so much

  69. That sure is great news Hanna ! Enjoy ! 🙂

  70. janice stuhlmacher

    This has been added to my dinner list for next week. Can’t wait to try it

  71. I made for lunch today!! I almost didn’t have to clean the plates….I will be making it again…. Thank you Miriam!! You inspired me!! Your book was the first in my vegan journey 8 months ago!!!

  72. Hi Ana, that’s the best news ever and thanks for going vegan. Look out for my upcoming book entitled YASOU, many more inspiring dishes there too. Hope you enjoy many more recipes of mine. 🙂

  73. Let me know how it goes as and when Janice ! 🙂

  74. Dying to try this but don’t have an oven at the moment…….think a slow cooker would work?

  75. Just made this and it is fantastic! So rich, hearty and comforting on a fall day in Ontario. Made with white wine because that’s what was at hand and it’s still lovely. Will definitely try red wine next time. Thank you for this glorious recipe!

  76. That’s fabulous news Nicole, so happy for you and I’m sure it’ll be just as good with white wine, in fact often times I prefer the subtlety of white wine rather than red in many savoury recipes. Hope you enjoy more recipes from here and remember to pop by with your feedback. Cheers to you in the meantime ! 🙂

  77. Hi there Lori and welcome here. Be sure to start the recipe on a hob and then once the onions etc are cooked, transfer into your slow cooker and yes, should work in your slow cooker. Let me know how it goes as and when. Cheers your way ! 🙂


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