The beautiful aniseed flavours of fennel are tempered in this dish by the caramelizing process and they blend perfectly with the earthiness of the cabbage and the umami notes of the tempeh. This is an oil-free dish and it serves 4-6 (depending on appetite!). If you use a mandolin, it will make slicing the onions, fennel, and potatoes much easier.
227g block tempeh
300g cabbage, shredded
2 red onions, very finely sliced
1 bulb fennel, very finely sliced
1kg potatoes (skins left on), very finely sliced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the Tempeh Marinade
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
For the Gravy
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup suitable-for-vegans white wine
3 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp suitable-for-vegans Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes, slice into thin strips and then each strip into thirds. Mix the tempeh marinade ingredients together in a shallow bowl, and add the tempeh. Toss to coat.
2. Preheat a large nonstick or stainless steel frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions, fennel, and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the volume is greatly reduced and the vegetables are lightly coloured. If the vegetables start to stick, add a splash or two of water. Add the rest of the salt, the maple syrup, and the balsamic vinegar. Cook for 5 minutes more, stirring frequently. Add the cabbage, and cook until starting to soften.
3. Make the gravy by combining all ingredients in a bowl and whisking.
4. Spray a large casserole dish with suitable-for-vegan spray oil, and layer half of the potatoes in the bottom, overlapping them. Layer on the tempeh, and then the onion-fennel-cabbage mixture. Top with the remaining potatoes. Pour over the gravy. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
5. Bake for 45 minutes; remove the foil, and bake for 15 minutes more until the potatoes are soft and golden.