Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vegetarian Country Stew

Don't you hate it when you go to buy one of your favourite products only to find it completely stripped from the shelves and nowhere to be found.

This happened to me a few months ago when I went to buy my beloved Country Hot Pot. Growing up in a vegetarian household, we used to have this Country Hot Pot, which was made by Sanitarium, for dinner quite a bit. To be honest, it was a tinned vegetarian stew that contained lots of cubed vegetables (most of which were unidentifiable) and a soy mince substitute but we all loved it and it was one of those meals that was part of my childhood.

So when I was unable to find it anywhere and our local stockist told me that it was actually no longer being produced, I was at a bit of a loss. I hadn't had the opportunity to stock up on 1000 tins of it or to savour one last plate of it and I was not having it.

The world of Google gave me no love in terms of the ingredients for the original version or any similar recipes so I decided to email the Sanitarium customer feedback section and ask them for the ingredients list from the tin. At this point I believe Mum and Dad thought I was starting to lose my marbles, but it was the memories associated with the dish that were so important to me in re-creating it.

The ingredients list I received from Sanitarium was useful in terms of finally identifying those mystery vegetables, but the simple term 'spices' was not so helpful when it came to the flavourings. Over the last few months I have pondered on this many times and eventually decided that I was over thinking it. It was a simple dish with simple flavours and I WAS going to re-create it.

I decided to use my Mum's Curried Sausages recipe as a starting point in order to get a nice thick sauce and once I had made that decision the whole thing just came together. I was so pleased with the end result, it tasted just how I remember it - but fresher and with visible, identifiable vegetables!

Vegetarian Country Stew - Serves 4

1 x onion diced
1 tbspn butter
2 tspns garlic
2-3 tbspns tomato paste
1 tspn thyme
2 tbspn plain flour
1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
300g baby potatoes (par-boiled)
2 x carrot, finely diced
400g tin Sanitarium Casserole Mince (this is a vegetarian mince substitute)
1 cup peas

In a fry pan over medium high heat, add the onion and butter and cook for 2-3 mins.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 mins.

Add the tomato paste and the thyme and stir to combine.

Sprinkle the flour over the top of the tomato mixture and stir well. Cook for 1-2 mins.

Add the stock, carrot, mince and potatoes to the pan. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 mins or until your vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper. (During this time you may need to add some water. I added roughly 1/2 cup water every 10 mins and allowed the stew to simmer and thicken before adding any more.)

Once your potatoes are tender, stir through the peas.

In our family we have always served this stew over or on the side of chips but you could certainly just serve it on it's own or with some boiled rice.


Mrs B xx


  1. Thank you! I knew I couldn't be the only vegetarian lamenting the loss of Country Stew from the store shelves!

  2. wow oh wow.... I've been missing country hotpot! Off to make this now. Many thanks!

  3. I'm making this myself this week! I hope you enjoy it :)



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