Brown stew reminds me of home. this is the dish I turn to on the weekend when I miss my mothers cooking! It's so deeply savoury and satisfying.
280g of Firm Tofu (I used the brand Tofu which is already pressed)
1 Tablespoon of Cornflour
1 Tablespoon of All Purpose Seasoning
100g Shiitake/Button Mushrooms (sliced)
1 Carrots Cut into thin rounds
1 Large Tomato Diced
2 Cloves Of Garlic
300ml Boiling Water with 1 Veggie Stock Cube
Springs Of Fresh Thyme
One Whole Scotch Bonnet
6 Pimento Seeds or 1 teaspoon of ground Allspice
1 Tablespoon of Soft Brown Sugar
Olive Oil/Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 Teaspoon of Browning
Start by cutting tofu into small cubes. Using a paper towel pat the tofu dry to get rid of any excess water. Add the tofu in a bowl and toss with cornflour and all purpose seasoning until coating. In a deep based frying pan or casserole pan to a medium/low heat heat a tablespoon of coconut oil/olive oil. Fry the tofu on all sides till golden brown, making sure not to over fill the pan. I did mine in two batches. Transfer back to the bowl and the add another tablespoon of oil to the frying pan, add the brown sugar until it creates this caramel, this should take only 30 seconds to a 1 minute. The sugar will dissolve at first and then begin to bubble and caramelise. You want it to get a deep brown colour. Add the Tofu Pieces and allow to caramelise or another 1-2 minutes, stirring around till coated.
Add the Mushrooms, Onion, Tomato, Pimento Seeds, Garlic and Thyme. Sauté with a pinch of salt for 2 - 4 minutes till softened. Add a splash of the boiling water/stock here if needed. Add the umami paste and cook for another 4 - 5 minutes, this will take away any of the raw flavour from the tomato paste. Now add the Stock to deglaze the pan, make sure you use get the brown bits from the pan. Add the Carrots & Whole Scotch Bonnet and then drop to a medium low heat. Cook for another 8-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is lovely and glossy! Serve over rice and enjoy.