Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mushroom Bourguignon

Last week as I browsed through some cooking blogs, I came across this recipe for Mushroom Bourguinon from Smitten Kitchen. Boy did it look good! The photos are tantalizing and as I read through the ingredients and it sounded even better. How can you go wrong with mushrooms, onions, carrots, fresh herbs and red wine? (Even if you are not a mushroom lover I encourage you to keep reading for a beef suggestion!) I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes to make for our vegetarian friend, I can't make him pasta every time. And this looked perfect.

The ingredients sounded similar to a pot roast but not knowing what a "bourguignon" was exactly, I had to look it up. Wikipedia says "beef bourguignon is a well-known, traditional French recipe. It is essentially a stew prepared with beef braised in red wine and beef broth, generally flavoured with garlic, onions, carrots, and a bouquet garni, and garnished with pearl onions and mushrooms." There's your culinary definition for the week.
My Adaptation: So over the weekend I had the chance to try it out. See my photo above. It turned out fabulously, the recipe is great just the way it is. Although I did add some extra baby carrots to add a little more variety to it. I used 12 oz. of portabello mushrooms and 4 oz. of crimini mushrooms. (2 packages and 1/2 package from Trader Joe's, respectively.) Trader Joe's didn't have any pearl onions so I used small cippolini onions. They also didn't have any egg noodles, so I used egg pappardelle noodles which I think might be even better. For the wine, I used a $6 bottle of Prosperity Red a cabernet merlot (just look for a dry, full-bodied wine). I highly suggest using fresh herbs, the fresh parsley added a nice fresh bite mixed in. I did add the suggested spoon of sour cream to my plate which was good as well, it added a creaminess that reminded me of a stroganoff.

Meat lovers: You could easily add some braised stew beef to the recipe and cut down on the amount of mushrooms. Or just see this very similar receipe for a Beef Bourguignon at Epicurious.

Mushroom Bourguignon
Serves 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices (save the stems for another use) (you can use cremini instead, as well)
  • 1/2 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional but vegetable to make it vegetarian; it works with either)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
  • Egg noodles, for serving
  • Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat the one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium Dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan.

Lower the flame to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.

Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.

Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.

To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of egg noodles, dollop with sour cream (optional) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.

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