#RecipeLab: Chocolate Week 1 – Mushroom and Beer Stew

Chocolate Week 1 – Lentils, Mushroom, Beer, Chocolate – Unlikely combination works well together. Check back in the 4th week of every month for new recipes.

Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt

Chocolate Week 1:  It’s the start of chocolate week, so of course you start with something savoury! Er…

This recipe is inspired by a beef, stout beer, and chocolate stew that SortedFood made, but I wanted to make it vegetarian. It was an experiment, and here are the results.

I was incredibly frustrated with this recipe, because I couldn’t find many of the ingredients I wanted – so I had to make do with substitutes which weren’t as good (Lager instead of Stout, dry instead of fresh herbs). I’ve described the actual recipe, so please excuse the photos.

I liked the end product, but it might not be for everybody. The idea is that lentils, mushrooms, beer, and chocolate all have earthy flavours, but if you’re not keen on experimentation, leave the lentils out, and make a mushroom stew – that will be safe and excellent.

Here’s the recipe (serves 4).


Chocolate Stew

Lentils1 cup 200g Experiment. I used green lentils.
Mushrooms1.5 cup 300g Portobello.
Stout Beer 500ml Get a chocolate stout if you can.
Dark Chocolate 5 tsp 25g 70% or higher chocolate
Onions 2 tsp ~10g
Garlic 1/2cup ~125ml
Flour1 ~150g
Butter2 knobs ~10-20g
Herbs1 sprig eachRosemary and Thyme.
Potatoes4-6 large1kgFor French Fries.
Oil for frying
Salt, Pepper Seasoning. Also consider dry herbs.



  • Wash lentils in cold water twice and soak for an hour. They’ll become larger from absorbing water.

Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt

Stew Process

  • Chop the onion and garlic fine. Saute them in a little oil till soft.
  • When the onions lose their colour, they’ve softened. At this point, add the lentils and keep agitating the pan to keep them moving. Do this for about 3 minutes.
  • Chop up the mushrooms into bite size pieces and toss them into the lentils. Continue sauteing the mix, occasionally stirring or agitating the contents until the mushrooms soften and start to change colour.
  • Pour in the beer. Gently stir the mixture, and let the beer start to cook off.
  • Add the herbs – strip the rosemary and thyme and add the leaves to the mix.
  • Add a couple of spoons of flour to thicken the stew. Continue cooking until relatively thick.

Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt

  • Grate your chocolate and add it to the stew. Let it melt and stir well.
  • Optionally, add a pinch of sugar if the stew is too bitter.
  • Add the butter, and serve hot over fries for a very comforting dish, or on top of rice for a regular meal.
Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt
Final elements, awaiting presentation.

Fries Process

  • Let the oil heat up while you cut the potatoes to your desired thickness. If you like thicker fries, consider leaving the skin on for an added depth of flavour, otherwise peel your fries.
  • Test the oil. Drop in a small piece of bread or a cumin seed. It should float within a couple of seconds.
  • Divide your potatoes into batches and fry them accordingly. Keep the flame on low and using the proper handling equipment, fry a batch for 3-4 minutes till you see the skin tighten. The potatoes will still be the same colour.
  • Fish the fries out carefully and slowly shake off excess oil. Let the fries rest on some newspaper or kitchen roll, while you do the same for other batches.
  • At this point, you can store the fries for the future if you like – put them in an airtight bag and store in the freezer.
  • Turn the flame up to high and re-fry your partially fried potatoes. Fry them until they turn a pale brown. Don’t brown them too much because then they don’t have a soft interior and are no fun to eat.
  • Once all batches are fried, toss the fries in salt and pepper. For variation, replace pepper with red chilly powder, dried oregano, or garlic powder.
Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt
Wasn’t too happy with this shot, so…

Customisations: As mentioned, leave out the lentils if you’re not comfortable combining them with chocolate. If you’re into meat, try putting oven-roasted chicken slices into the stew. Some bacon bits are good too. If you like beef, you might want to try the original recipe by SortedFood.

Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt
…took these instead.

Chocolate Week 1 - Stew | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt

Thank you for checking out Recipe Lab and Chocolate Week 1! If you like this recipe, leave me a comment below telling me about the recipe and your preferences.

More recipes in Chocolate Week will be – check back on the Navigation Post Right Here to see the other recipes, or check out the Cooking category in the Library to see what else I have. 🙂