mushroom bourguignon

21 December, 2009 at 11:03 pm Leave a comment

After a rather unannounced blogging hiatus (the string of events went something like this: Stephen’s camera accompanied him to Tennessee for a week, then I was attacked by The Dish Pile To End All Dish Piles, then I had my will to cook sucked away by Christmas-rabid preschoolers, by which point The Dish Pile had grown to near unconquerable proportions), I am finally back in business, with a backlog of recipes to share before the holidays!

Julia Child’s posthumous comeback seems to have a lot of people buzzing about her classic boeuf bourguignon, and as winter weather has taken hold of late, I’ve found myself thinking fondly of the slow-stewed, wine-drenched richness of that classic recipe. However, when I go to the trouble of making a big, warm, slow-cooked meal like that, it always seems a good time to invite friends over to share in the stew (I mean come on, who halves the recipe for beef bourguignon?), and I happen to have a frequent dinner guest who is vegetarian, so what’s a girl to cook? Enter the mushroom bourguignon– somehow, even without the meat, it delivers a rich, warming quality that is perfect for a cold evening, with or without veggiephiles.

This is a healthy enough meal to be classified as an everyday dish, but the rich flavors of the mushrooms and wine make it decadent enough for a real weekend feast. It takes a little over an hour from start to finish, so you could definitely undertake it on a weeknight if you have the time (or the insatiable hunger for belly-warming stew), but it would also make a fabulous Sunday night meal.  Either way, don’t wait too long to try this recipe– I had it bookmarked for ages and when I finally tasted it, I was filled with deepest regret that I had lived so long without it.

Mushroom Bourguignon

Adapted from smittenkitchen.com

Serves 6

2 pounds mushrooms (it will look like A LOT of mushrooms, but trust me, they will cook down) such as crimini, portobello, or a mix of the two, sliced

3 T olive oil

2 T butter, divided

about 1 cup diced onions

scant 1 cup diced carrots

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups veggie broth

1 cup red wine (Cabernet is ideal, but I used Merlot because we had some leftover)

2 T tomato paste

1 t fresh thyme, or 1/2 t dried

1.5 T flour

1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed on the counter while you cook

Egg noodles and sour cream for serving

Get the chopping of your mushrooms, onions, and carrots out of the way first.  Then heat 2 T olive oil and 1 T butter in a heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and sear them until browning but not releasing liquid, then remove them to a bowl when they start looking like this:

Remove them from the pan, then lower the heat a bit and add the carrots, onions, thyme, and salt and pepper.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until onions start to brown, then add garlic and stir until fragrant.  Then add in red wine, turn the heat to high, bring to a boil and reduce the sauce to half its volume.

Add in tomato paste, broth, and return the mushrooms and their collected juices to the pan, bring it all to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Around now would also be a good time to start bringing water to a boil for the egg noodles. After the stew’s 20 minute simmer, add pearl onions and cook for an additional five.  While you wait, mash up the remaining 1 T butter with the flour into a paste, then add it to the stew and stir to thicken.  Simmer another 10 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Serve over egg noodles with a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkle of parsley or chives if you have them.  Enjoy!

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