The 2010 April Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den. She chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make Brunswick Stew. Wolf chose recipes for her challenge from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee, and from the Callaway, Virginia Ruritan Club.
What is Brunswick Stew? Well, it’s a very thick, meaty stew (usually with at least some game meat, and often including bacon) popular in the southern United States. This is one challenge recipe I probably never would have made if I wasn’t a member of the Daring Cooks. Since the recipe is very meaty, it’s not something I’d really have thought of making to be honest! However, it did make for a fun challenge to try and veganize, so that’s what I did.
We were given two versions of the recipe to try. The first was the ‘long way’ and involved a lot of ingredients and making your own broth. The second version was a bit more simple, and seemed easier to make vegetarian, so that’s the one that I chose.
I replaced the meat in the recipe with mushrooms and tempeh. I marinated the tempeh with some liquid smoke, wheat-free tamari, a little garlic and some red miso. This was to give it a somewhat smokey flavour, to replace the flavour of the bacon in the original recipe. The mushrooms I used were a mixture of cremini and portobella, to further enhance the flavours of the dish.
Otherwise I made the recipe as written. I included all of the vegetables, herbs and spices and just replaced the meat with my mushrooms and tempeh. I also replaced the butter with vegetable oil.
And the result? Pretty tasty! I probably won’t make it again, as I have a number of really delicious vegan stews that I make over the cold winter months, but I have to admit it was fun to try this out! And as you can see in the picture below, my stew was indeed very thick – my spoon easily stood up in the middle.
I just wonder what folks from the southern US will think of my version.
If you’d like to make this yourself, just head on over to The Daring Kitchen and nab the recipe!