A Glug of Oil

Easy and delicious recipes including midweek dinner ideas, English and world cuisine.

Vegetarian Stew

A really tasty stew of potatoes, swede, parsnip, carrots and onions cooked in a lovely rich Marsala sauce.

Nigel Slater calls this 'Hearty Party Hotpot'.

Vegetarian stew in a white bowl

Vegetarian Stew

The addition of some fantastic smelling juniper berries really make this dish. Roasted chestnuts are then added along with some mushrooms. Perfect warming and filling vegetarian meal.

Now, I used chicken stock, but of course vegetable stock is the way to go for any vegetarians out there. I added potatoes to my version just to make it more of a meal. Crusty bread is vital for dipping and mopping.

I did find the timings given in the original recipe to be slightly wrong.

Okay, I know I added potatoes which take a while to cook, but the carrots and swede alone wouldn't be cooked through in the 35 minutes the recipe says for the whole dish, so if you add potatoes or not, it still takes more like an hour to cook.

Yield: 4
Author: Jan Bennett
Vegetarian Stew - Nigel Slater

Vegetarian Stew - Nigel Slater

I made this but not being vegetarian I used chicken stock.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 1 HourTotal time: 1 H & 20 M


  • 2 onions
  • 20g/1oz butter
  • sprig rosemary
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp juniper berries
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 parsnip
  • ½ swede
  • 4 tbsp Marsala wine
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 150g/5½oz canned chestnuts
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400ml/14fl oz vegetable stock
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 chestnut mushrooms
  • handful dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tbsp redcurrant jelly


  1. Roughly chop the onions and slowly soften in a casserole with a little butter. 
  2. Meanwhile, pick a sprig of rosemary into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt and the juniper berries. Give them a good bashing then add to the onions.
  3. Now chop the carrot, swede and parsnip into hearty sized chunks, they are going to be the body of the stew, and add to the onions.
  4. To build the sauce, tip in a few glugs of whatever Christmas wines you have to hand, here I particularly like Marsala. 
  5. Add a spoonful of flour and stir in allowing it to cook through and thicken the sauce. Add the chestnuts, bay leaf and stock, season with freshly ground black pepper, then leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Quarter the chestnut mushrooms; then add them to the pot along with a handful of dried porcini. This will give the stew a woody depth.
  7. Now for the finishing touches to the sauce add a spoonful of wholegrain mustard and redcurrant jelly, and let simmer for a further 20 minutes.
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  1. I've been experimenting with Juniper berries...added them to a sausage casserole the other day...was fab. A nice hearty warming meal here Jan.

  2. That looks hearty and wholesome. Perfect for these gray January nights.


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