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Meatless, Beefless Vegetable Pot Roast

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FYI: I typically avoid stating approximate amounts with ingredients because there are so many factors like, your own personal preference with certain veggies, or the amount that you are making. There is a decent amount of flexibility but if you follow the basic structure in ingredients and steps, a slight variation in ingredient proportion won’t screw the whole thing up… this isn’t baking! But, in case it helps, I stated my general amounts used.

ingredients:
●OLIVE OIL (vegan) OR BUTTER (lacto-ovo vegetarians)
●RED WINE (Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon work great - you can easily use the entire bottle in this recipe, but you can use less if you’re cooking a smaller amount)
●BETTER THAN BOUILLON - NO BEEF VEGAN BASE (2-3 tablespoons)
●FLOUR (I used about 3 to 3-½ tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons oil/butter for the roux for this dish.)
●ROSEMARY (dried or fresh - 1-2 tablespoons)
●SALT (to taste - remember that bouillon is usually salted)
●PEPPER (to taste / use your best judgment)
●WHITE OR YELLOW ONION (1-2)
●SEVERAL CLOVES OF GARLIC (diced or slice length-wise - I LOVE garlic so I used several cloves, but I know not everyone is as enthused about it as I.)
●CARROTS (i like baby carrots because I’m lazy but you can chop whole ones instead - use as many as you like. Rapa and I agree MORE is best when it comes to carrots in this recipe!)
●RADISHES (leave small rad’s whole or you can cut them all in half. I used two whole bunches of radishes. it seems odd but they’re awesome in a roast, and healthy!)
●BABY BELLA MUSHROOMS (or mushrooms of choice - insane bonus points for using morel. I used a whole box of baby bella’s and halved them.)
●RED POTATOES (chop to about 1” or smaller pieces, feel free to leave skin on. I used 5-6 medium sized red potatoes.)
●GARDEN MEATLESS BEEF TIPS (optional, because I honestly think that this stew roast would have been just fine without them, but if you enjoy meat imitations, go for it. I used one bag.)

I like to use a dutch oven pan for this recipe, which allows me to get the recipe started on the stovetop but then transfers to the oven. However, if you do not have a dutch oven, a heavy sauce pan will do and you can omit the oven transfer step and just finish cooking stovetop with the lid on.

Gratuitously oil the bottom of a dutch oven pot or heavy sauce pan. Set burner to medium high heat. Quarter a white or yellow onion and toss into pan. Allow to brown/blacken on the cut faces - the juices of the onion and the oil will begin to leave a charred residue on the bottom of the pan (called “Fond” by culinaries) which makes for great flavoring when we deglaze the pan later.

Toss in your (chopped carrots) or whole baby carrots, give them a (literal) minute, then toss in the radishes, stir a bit, and add mushrooms. The intention with this initial sauteé is NOT to thoroughly or even significantly cook these vegetables - moreso to get them off to a good carmelized start & of course to brown that pan bottom. So after just a couple short minutes of sauteéing those veggies, remove them from the pan and set them aside in a bowl. At this point, I decided to brown my beefless tips, figuring they too could contribute to the fond on the pan bottom, whilst browning their edges nicely like a real beef roast. After browning the tips, remove and set aside in bowl.

Turn your heat down a bit to medium heat, pop open your bottle of wine and pour ¾ of the bottle into the pan. Use a wooden spatula with a flat edge to scrape all of that good stuff off of the bottom of the pan. Give it a couple minutes to break down, and while you’re waiting you can toss in 2-3 tablespoons of beefless bouillon and stir in. Make sure your heat isn’t TOO high but hot enough to break down your bouillon and absorb some of that goodness from the bottom of the pan. Transfer this stock liquid to another container or pitcher, we will be adding it back into the pan gradually.

Now you’ll make a roux in the bottom of the pan by melting either olive oil or butter over medium heat. When it is hot, begin gradually mixing in flour until a thick, rough paste forms. Begin adding your stock to the roux, slowly mixing it in. The roux will help the sauce to thicken up as it cooks. Add the rest of the stock back to the pan this way. I ground up my dried rosemary in my Magic Bullet - super finely, at that, because the last time I made a roast I accidentally swallowed a twig/stem and had anxiety about it perforating an organ for about a week :) Add salt and pepper and turn up to a medium high heat. Toss in your chopped potatoes, the sautéed veggies (onion/carrot/radish/mushroom) and the beefless tips. Stir, then cover with lid and put dutch oven in your actual oven at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes.  If you don’t have a dutch oven, put the lid on your pan and continue simmering on stovetop for 40-50 minutes or until potatoes are thoroughly cooked.

Lex Sova