German Geschnetzeltes-Inspired Stew
Inspiration can be really fun to explore. For example: On Serious Eat’s Photograzing section, I stumbled across this fabulous looking recipe for Geschnetzeltes Chili. Super meaty, right? But I took one look at it (it was a dreary, rainy, cold day here in Roanoke) and knew that I wanted to veganize it. Once I started cooking, however, I quickly realize that the incredibly tasty meal I was constructing looked and (probably) tasted nothing like authentic Geschnetzeltes (wow, I’m getting tired of trying to type that over and over again correctly!). So I regrouped. And renamed the final dish. Let’s call it Geschnetzeltes-inspired, shall we?
Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, according to Wikipedia, is a Swiss dish whose main ingredients are veal, sliced to small pieces, sliced mushrooms and cream. “The veal is cut into small thin pieces. The meat is sautéed quickly in a very hot pan with a little butter and a bit of chopped onion. Then the meat is taken out of the pan and kept warm. White wine is added to the same pan with cream and demiglace and reduced into a sauce. The meat is added to the hot but not boiling reduction. Sliced mushrooms are added. Finally, the dish is refined with pepper, salt, paprika powder and lemon juice. It is typically served with Rösti but is widely enjoyed with Spätzle, tagliatelle, rice or mashed potatoes, too.”
Google seems to think that it’s fairly popular in Germany, though, not necessarily Switzerland, and I figured, whatever, let’s go with German since my original inspiration recipe called it German. Replacing the meat was where I started with the dish, turning the required veal into rehydrated and seared Soy Curls. While Soy Curls are readily available in most bigger cities (I originally found them in Atlanta years ago), I’ve resorted to ordering them online and using them sparingly as centerpiece proteins. Geschnetzeltes seemed like the perfect dish for them. White wine turned into some serious glugs of red wine in my dish, chickpeas and sliced napa cabbage for a little more texture. For the spices, I kept it simple: hot smoked paprika (since I was originally going for chili–but I like the warmth from the paprika no matter what), thyme, sage, salt, and pepper. Let everything simmer and reduce, serve with mashed potatoes, and voila, a hearty stew for a winter evening!
While it may not smack of authenticity, I’d like to think that my German grandmother would approve of the attempt (though I doubt she’d get behind a meatless German dish). In the least, I know that it’s a winner for G & I and, I mean, let’s be honest, can you beat anything served over mashed potatoes?
German Geschnetzeltes Inspired Stew
1.5 c dehydrated Soy Curls
Small pot boiling water
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp powdered thyme
1/2 tsp powdered sage
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 pint mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1.5 c red wine
3-4 c vegetable broth
1 small (1 lb) napa cabbage, cored and sliced
Fresh parsley to garnish
Place to Soy Curls in a bowl and pour the boiling water over them (so that the water covers the Soy Curls). Let sit 10 minutes to rehydrate.
In a stockpot or Dutch oven (I used the later), warm 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook till translucent, 5-6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the spices, cook 30 seconds, and then add the sliced mushrooms with a dash of vegetable broth. Cook the mushrooms 5-6 minutes, until they begin to release juices and become soft. Add the chickpeas wine, and 2 c vegetable broth, stir, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the stew is simmering, warm 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Drain the water from the Soy Curls and squeeze out as much as you can. Add the Soy Curls to the skillet and cook until browned, flipping as needed. This might take awhile (mine took 12 minutes or so).
After 30 minutes, add the cabbage to the stew. Stir to combine and add more vegetable broth as needed. You want a thick consistency, but you also want the cabbage to wilt and cook down a little. Cook for 15 minutes.
Finally, add the Soy Curls and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings as necessary. (I added a little more paprika at this point).
Serve over mashed potatoes & garnish with fresh parsley.