Portobello Roast Stew

When L was little, her mom frequently made a crockpot roast. You know, the roast, carrots, potatoes, and onions. Slow cooks in broth all day while you’re gone and you come home to warm, soft food. Well, L has been craving something like this for a while now but couldn’t figure out what to substitute in for the roast. She finally thought of something and man is it good.

Makes 4-5 servings

For the roasts:

6 adult Portobello mushrooms, stems removed & scooped clean*
1- 10 oz bottle of meat marinade (I used French’s steakhouse)
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp paprika
¼ tsp garlic
½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
1- 12 oz bottled vegan IPA/IPL (optional)**

For the stew:

8 oz white pearl onions
4 large carrots
4 red potatoes
1- 32oz carton of veggie broth
32 oz (4 cups) of water
1 large garlic clove, minced
Dash of sea salt

The rest:

1-8oz bag of spinach
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp olive oil

Place a 5-quart pot on the stove over high heat and pour in the veggie broth. Refill the broth container with water and pour that into the pot as well (this gets the leftover flavorings in the carton, rather than pouring from a measuring cup). While waiting for that to boil, prep your veggies. For the onions, cut a sliver off each end and peel off skin. Scrub the carrots and potatoes under warm water and peel potatoes. Chop the carrots into baby carrot size like you see in the store. The potatoes should be cut into half-inch thick lil’ nuggets. Once the broth is boiling, place the potatoes, carrots, onions, minced garlic, and dash of salt into the pot. Turn the heat down to medium-high, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
While the veggies are going, put two medium frying pans on the stove, both on about medium heat. Take out a shallow square cake pan (or any baking dish) and pour some marinade to cover the bottom. Place 3 of the caps in and pour marinade over their tops. Let sit for 10 minutes.

When they’ve had ample time to soak up the flavorings, place the caps in one of the frying pans. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side and sprinkle the seasonings (garlic powder, pepper, paprika) on each side. Pour a little more marinade over them to infuse more flavor. Once flipped to the second side, deglaze the pan with some of that delicious beer and move everything around a bit. Repeat the process with the remaining 3 caps (using the same baking dish with the leftover marinade).
Once the second set of caps are in their pan, pour the olive oil into the other pan (cooking is all about multitasking, people). Place spinach in and let cook down. After about 3 minutes, add the pepper and garlic powder and stir. Sauté until desired wiltedness (spinach cooks very quickly so this should not take more than 5-7 minutes).

Voila! Everything is good to go. Plate your dish however you please. I enjoyed mine in a shallow bowl—a little broth first, then spinach to cover bottom, roast in the middle (the caps shrink in size so I used 1 and a half for my plate), and boiled veggies around the edge. Finally, top it off with a pinch of fresh thyme.

* To prep the Portobellos: turn the caps over and cut the stem out with a paring knife. Do the gills underneath creep anyone else out? They freak me out. Thankfully, aside from looks, we still want nothing to do with those for the taste. The gills have a muddy flavor, so get rid of those weird things. Flip the caps over and wipe off excess dirt with a damp paper towel. You’re done!
** BEEEEEEERRRRR! Have we mentioned we like beer? If you’re unfamiliar with IPA’s (Indian Pale Ale) and IPL’s (Indian Pale Lager), they are simply a hoppier beer. In other words, they are a bit stronger and bitter than others.
Make sure to pick a vegan beer. Unsure about your beer? Use Barnivore to check for the use of animal products. I used Sam Adams Ella Blanc IPL.
Now, if I’m being honest with you, the beer is mainly for you to drink. You’re only going to use a dash of it during the cooking process.

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