BLASKET BUNNY - CRUSTY SODA BREAD FILLED WITH VEGETABLE & GUINNESS STEW

I created this comforting stew to celebrate one of Ireland's most famous exports, Guinness, becoming a vegan product. Bunny Chow hails from South Africa and is usually a loaf of roll hollowed out and filled with a spiced stew or dhal.

From Vegan Holiday Feasts: Inspired Meat-Free Recipes for the Festive Season by Jackie Kearney, published by Ryland Peters & Small ($14.95)
Photography by Clare Winfield Ryland Peters & Small

 

  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

FOR THE SODA BREAD

  • 800 g/6 cups wholemeal/ whole-wheat flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine rock salt
  • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 750 ml/ ¾ cups almond milk
  • handful of coarse polenta, for sprinkling

 

FOR THE STEW

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 4 small white onions, 2 finely chopped and 2 sliced
  • 500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. chestnut or button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
  • 1 tablespoon plain/ all-purpose flour
  • 600 ml/2 ½ cups Guinness
  • 400 g/14 oz. waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch chunks
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch chunks
  • ½ small swede, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/ 1-inch chunks
  • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon yeast extract or ½ tablespoon tomato purée/paste
  • 2 tablespoons good quality vegetable bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1–2 teaspoons salt, to taste
  • handful of freshly chopped parsley, to serve

 

  • 1 baking sheet, lightly oiled

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F) Gas 6. Add a tablespoon of polenta to the oiled baking sheet and shake it until it is well covered.
  2. To prepare the soda bread, place the flour in a large bowl, add the bicarbonate of/baking soda and salt, then mix well. In a jug/pitcher, combine the lemon juice and almond milk. Pour the liquid into the flour and gently knead together for no more than a minute or two to make a soft dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each to form a small ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cut a cross into the top of each ball, about 1 cm/. inch deep. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the soda bread is lightly browned. Tap the bottom to check the sound is hollow. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the stew, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a high heat. Add the celery sticks, the two chopped onions and four of the mushrooms, finely chopped. Sauté. on a medium heat until dark golden brown and well caramelized.
  4. Add the flour and mix well, cooking gently for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the Guinness and mix well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to make a rich roux. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 40–50 minutes until all the vegetables are fully cooked.
  5. Slice the tops off the cooled soda breads and scoop out the middle. Serve the vegetable stew inside the hollowed-out breads and top with the soda breads lid and chopped parsley.
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Ingredients:

    FOR THE SODA BREAD

    • 800 g/6 cups wholemeal/ whole-wheat flour
    • 1 ½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
    • 1 ½ teaspoons fine rock salt
    • 3 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 750 ml/ ¾ cups almond milk
    • handful of coarse polenta, for sprinkling

     

    FOR THE STEW

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
    • 4 small white onions, 2 finely chopped and 2 sliced
    • 500 g/1 lb. 2 oz. chestnut or button mushrooms, cleaned and halved
    • 1 tablespoon plain/ all-purpose flour
    • 600 ml/2 ½ cups Guinness
    • 400 g/14 oz. waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch chunks
    • 2 large carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
    • 2 turnips, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/1-inch chunks
    • ½ small swede, peeled and cut into 2.5-cm/ 1-inch chunks
    • ½ teaspoon mustard powder
    • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon yeast extract or ½ tablespoon tomato purée/paste
    • 2 tablespoons good quality vegetable bouillon
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 sprig of thyme
    • 1–2 teaspoons salt, to taste
    • handful of freshly chopped parsley, to serve

     

    • 1 baking sheet, lightly oiled
  • Directions:
    1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C (400˚F) Gas 6. Add a tablespoon of polenta to the oiled baking sheet and shake it until it is well covered.
    2. To prepare the soda bread, place the flour in a large bowl, add the bicarbonate of/baking soda and salt, then mix well. In a jug/pitcher, combine the lemon juice and almond milk. Pour the liquid into the flour and gently knead together for no more than a minute or two to make a soft dough. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll each to form a small ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet and cut a cross into the top of each ball, about 1 cm/. inch deep. Bake for 15–20 minutes until the soda bread is lightly browned. Tap the bottom to check the sound is hollow. Set aside to cool.
    3. For the stew, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a high heat. Add the celery sticks, the two chopped onions and four of the mushrooms, finely chopped. Sauté. on a medium heat until dark golden brown and well caramelized.
    4. Add the flour and mix well, cooking gently for 2–3 minutes. Pour in the Guinness and mix well, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to make a rich roux. Add all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 40–50 minutes until all the vegetables are fully cooked.
    5. Slice the tops off the cooled soda breads and scoop out the middle. Serve the vegetable stew inside the hollowed-out breads and top with the soda breads lid and chopped parsley.
  • Credit:

    I created this comforting stew to celebrate one of Ireland's most famous exports, Guinness, becoming a vegan product. Bunny Chow hails from South Africa and is usually a loaf of roll hollowed out and filled with a spiced stew or dhal.

    From Vegan Holiday Feasts: Inspired Meat-Free Recipes for the Festive Season by Jackie Kearney, published by Ryland Peters & Small ($14.95)
    Photography by Clare Winfield Ryland Peters & Small

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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