Vegan Lamb Stew (Scouse) For IAVW: British

vegan lamb stew
My taste in music, much like my taste in food, is a result of the various influences in my life: what’s contemporary, what’s timeless, where I have lived, my friends and my family.

At a very young age, I was lucky to be exposed to a variety of music. The songs of Indian movies– some of them excellent– were all around us and it was what my peers were mostly into. But my father had a deep and eclectic love for the music of other lands which ranged from Western classical to the soundtracks of old movies. Among his most favorites were the haunting, evocative tunes of old Westerns like For A Few Dollars More and The Good and the Bad and the Ugly, and the lilting, romantic strains of Dr. Zhivago. He had a huge collection of records and each evening, after dinner, he would light up a cigarette, put a record on, relax–eyes closed–in his favorite chair, and listen.

My brother was more adventurous about everything, including music. His taste ranged from youthfully bizarre to stunningly mature. He couldn’t stop listening to the Hindustani classical music of Bade Ghulam Ali Khan one day, the pop songs of some obscure Pakistani singer the next, and then he’d be deeply in love for yet another day with the BeeGees.

Me, I was a reader first and foremost and I spent almost every waking moment I could spare with a book. I loved music, but in those days I was happy enough to listen to anything that was on.

It was my brother who first introduced me to the Fab Four. He brought home a tape he’d borrowed from a friend and a poster of four young men with oddly similar haircuts that he put up on the wall. The music and the crystal lyrics were strange in the beginning, but impossible not to love or tap a foot to. Soon enough, like most of the world, I was a Beatles fan.

Over the years, I have found more reasons to admire the members of this amazing group who are often credited with changing the world. John Lennon, for his commitment to peace and a world without borders and for the simplest, most straightforward and yet most evocative song ever written: Imagine. Paul McCartney, for his commitment to animal rights and vegetarianism.

In Desi, I found another Beatles fan– he was reading a book on the Beatles when I first met him :). We have different favorite Beatles though: he loves Paul McCartney (especially Yesterday) while Lennon’s definitely my favorite.

So why the Beatles? Well, the stew I am sharing today for It’s A Vegan World: British is inspired by Scouse, a stew from Liverpool, the home of the Beatles. You can read more about it here.

I looked at a lot of Scouse recipes before making this stew, and the most original ones are very basic, which maybe is what makes it so special: just meat, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, perhaps, and some salt and pepper. But since my version is vegan, I needed to add more flavor. The meat substitute I used, textured vegetable protein or TVP, does a great job emulating the texture of the meat but is, of course, flavorless.

I coat the TVP with flour and herbs and saute it beforehand just as one would the meat, because although there are no juices to be sealed in the TVP, this extra step gives the nuggets a nice crust and the flour creates a roux which helps thicken the stew. I’ve tried using TVP directly in the past and trust me, this is much better.

So here we go, with the recipe. There are still a couple more days left for you to send on your recipes, so get cooking, guys!

Vegan lamb stew
Savory Lamb Stew

1 1/2 cups TVP chunks. Reconstitute the chunks by placing in a bowl with enough vegetable stock or water to cover them. Let stand 30 minutes, then drain.

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 tsp mixed, dried herbs (I used basil, rosemary and oregano. Thyme and sage would also be great in here)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Heat 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil in a skillet. Brown the TVP chunks in batches until they develop a nice brown crust.

Remove the TVP chunks to a plate. In the same skillet, adding more oil if necessary, saute:

1 medium onion, chopped

3 carrots, cut into rings

2 potatoes, diced

2 celery sticks, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

Saute until the vegetables soften a little and the onions are translucent.

Return the TVP chunks to the pan along with 2 tsp more of the mixed dried herbs.

Season with some salt and pepper.

Add to the pan:

1 can beer (thank goodness alcohol is vegan!) This really helps build the flavor

2 tbsp tomato paste (use ketchup in a pinch)

2 cups water

Bring the stew to a boil, lower the heat, then simmer for 45 minutes so the flavors meld together. Add more salt, pepper or herbs if needed.

Immediately after turning off heat, add 1-2 tbsp vegan butter which helps round out the flavors and adds a great smoothness to the stew.

Garnish, if desired, with some parsley or sage.

Serve hot. I like this with plain boiled white rice or a crusty bread.

Any stew, including this one, always tastes better the next day when the ingredients have had time to sit together, so make this a day ahead if you can– and keep your hands off it!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

18 thoughts on “Vegan Lamb Stew (Scouse) For IAVW: British

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Jaya Wagle

    July 29, 2009 at 10:27pm

    The stew sounds very hearty and comfy. I can imagine eating it on a rainy day, huddled in a blanket and some crusty bread to dunk in. :) Yumm.

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    July 30, 2009 at 4:37am

    Enjoyed reading you as always Vaishali..esp was visualising daddy litting cigars and listening his favs..thats a classic daddy..I miss mine wherever i hear such touching ones,am off..
    Hey the stew recipe is new to me..looks yummy..!!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Curry Leaf

    July 30, 2009 at 5:26am

    Hearty and comfy stew.Very new to me.Love the post as well.
    BTW,I had some some doubts regarding butter replacers.Has mailed you and will be sending two entries to IAVW as well.Do reply

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    July 30, 2009 at 10:16am

    I think I can add soya chunks. The stew sounds too good Vaishali … perfect for the weather here! :-)

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    July 30, 2009 at 8:12pm

    Stew looks delish!

    I don’t have a favorite Beatle, but I have learned to appreciate them. My guitar teacher has taught me some of their songs and I LOVE ‘Blackbird.’ I don’t know how you feel about musicals, but I really enjoyed the ‘Across the Universe’ movie, which was set in the 60s and has several Beatles’ songs.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    July 30, 2009 at 8:12pm

    Stew looks delish!

    I don’t have a favorite Beatle, but I have learned to appreciate them. My guitar teacher has taught me some of their songs and I LOVE ‘Blackbird.’ I don’t know how you feel about musicals, but I really enjoyed the ‘Across the Universe’ movie, which was set in the 60s and has several Beatles’ songs.

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    July 30, 2009 at 11:31pm

    This looks tasty. I made your vegan flax seed challah bread awhile ago, and it was devine. Thanks for posting so many great recipes!

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    July 30, 2009 at 11:44pm

    Thanks a lot for the tofu advice Vaishali.. I’ll try that next time :) “Lamb” stew looks yummm..and I love TVP so will try this soon :)

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    July 31, 2009 at 3:58pm

    I’m sorry to say that alcohol isn’t always vegan. Wines, stout (eg Guinness) and others are often not suitable so it always pay to do your homework.

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Red Chillies

    August 1, 2009 at 7:49pm

    I am not familiar with TVP, I will check them out. Like how you make a meat stew without the meat.

    Beatles and Bee Gees, love thm as well!

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 4, 2009 at 8:08pm

    Vaishali,how are you doing ? Plz collect your award & Tag from my blog..hugs,Ann

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    August 7, 2009 at 2:47pm

    Hubby & Me are Bealtes fan too;-)

    LOL at Thank God Alcohol is Vegan;-D

    are these tvp’s the nutrelas? or are they different? Looks & sounds really good.

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    January 19, 2014 at 8:23pm

    I’ve had this on my list to make for a long time, but I keep getting hung up on one detail. When you talk about breading and frying the TVP chunks, I’m assuming they’ve already been reconstituted? If so, do you just use water or some kind of stock? Or do you get them already “moistened”? Here in Northern California, the only way I’ve found them is in dehydrated form (in East Asian supermarkets). I’ve experimented with various methods but have never found the perfect way to reconstitute the bigger chunks (like the ones in this recipe). Any suggestions or advice would be welcome!

    • Permalink  ⋅ Reply


      January 19, 2014 at 11:42pm

      Hi Drew, you do need to reconstitute them– water is fine, stock even better. I will clarify this step in the recipe too. I add the chunks to boiling water or stock and let them sit for at least 30 minutes, then drain them.

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