My younger brother Stephen moved home this summer after spending three years in Newfoundland. While he was on the east coast, he found work at a St. John’s restaurant called The Sprout, which served vegetarian and vegan fare. Since Stephen has been back, he has only cooked for me a handful of times – but every experience has been amazing.
This week I wanted to share a recipe that my brother made for us called Mushroom Stout Pie with Potato Biscuits. Now, sadly, he was limited with cooking apparatuses so we weren’t able to have the potato biscuits baked on top, but once my kitchen is properly equipped we’re definitely going to have to try again with what I imagine could be the best part of the recipe (I’m addicted to biscuits of all sorts).
There is nothing like coming home after a stressful day at work, walking through your front door, and smelling warm home cooking. Nothing! This stew smells, and has your house smelling, oh so heavenly. One of my favourite things about one-pot meals that you can leave sitting on the stove for an hour or two is the aroma. It is like getting to enjoy your meal for longer, and on an entirely different level. To be honest, there wasn’t much time between me taking my shoes off and me scooping hot stew into a bowl! Actually, I’m not even sure I’d taken my shoes off before I had the lid off the pot and was sticking my nose in the steamy air as it and the accompanying smells of deliciousness escaped.
Now, I haven’t had a proper stew in years. My mom used to make it all the time when we were kids, but of course it would always have the traditional beef stew chunks in it. As you’ll see in this recipe, there are no meat or animal-related products to be found; the heartiness of the dish comes from mushrooms, carrots, and yummy beans. I wasn’t expecting the broth to be so like a traditional gravy, but it was just as thick and satisfying as I could have hoped for. The vegetables and beans were tender and delicious after having been on the stovetop for a few hours. And my favourite part? The smoky flavour added to the stew by the stout that Stephen had chosen made the dish feel like a reprieve from the cold of winter.
Of course, the type or brand of ale you choose is going to alter the flavour of the stew over-all, so make sure you pick one you like. My brother used Tenaya Creek’s HaulingOats Oatmeal Stout that, to my great delight, can be found listed on Barnivore’s website as a vegan beer. As a side note – Barnivore is a fantastic resource. I found the information I needed when I couldn’t find it anywhere else, so be sure to check out their website at http://www.barnivore.com/.
You can find this recipe on the homepage of its creator at http://www.theppk.com/2013/03/mushroom-stout-pie-with-potato-biscuits/. Thanks to my brother and to The PPK for a yummy dinner!