This is a vegetarian version of a classic beef bourguignon and captures the essence of the dish so deliciously. It’s hearty and robust and will have even the staunchest meat eaters feeling satisfied.
It was a case of using up whatever I had around including a few packs of mixed mushrooms. I didn’t have the pearl onions, which are quintessential to a beef bourguignon so I added an extra onion the mix for flavour. They would have been lovely here and the original recipe included 130g / 1 cup of pearl onions. It was a case of making do with what I had and not taking ANOTHER trip to the shops.
Other than my miso mushrooms on toast, this is the best way I know how to use up a large number of shrooms. Get adventurous here. I had a few exotics, so a couple of shiitakes, a small cep (porcini) and enokii landed in the mix. The bulk of the mushrooms were made up of large black mushrooms and a few portebelini. You want to keep them quite thick as they undergo a longish cooking time so cut them to about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick – or even thicker.
I added bacon because I needed to use some up and just wanted that added flavour. It worked perfectly and was delicious.
As far as the stock goes, I used a combination of half mushroom stock which is the most wonderful thing. I bought the sachets from Woolworths and I love to use them in mushroom risotto. I used two of these to a cup of boiling water. I then used 2 sachets of beef demi-glace – also from Woolies to make up the other cup of stock. I always tend to make my stocks a little stronger than the package recommendations when using liquid concentrate or dried stock cubes. Use any good quality stock here and I recommend this combo but a beef stock or broth if you are not a vegetarian as it does give it a lovely depth.
This recipe is ideal for autumn or winter as its rich and comforting. It’s also the kind of dish you should make with a friend standing by sipping a glass of red as everything simmers away. I’m obsessed with the nutty flavour of pearl barley so this was my preferred companion for this mushroom bourguignon.
Recipe – inspired by and adapted from Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen in Food 52 Genius Recipes cookbook
- 750 – 800gms mushrooms (mixed and your choice)
- 2Tbsp olive oil
- 2Tbsp butter
- 2 brown onions finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots finely diced
- 100gm bacon – optional (omit if you want this vegetarian)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 50gms / 2 ½ Tbsp tomato paste
- 250ml / 1 cup red wine (full-bodied)
- 500ml / 2 cups mushroom stock and beef broth (on or the other or a combo) – Use vegetable stock if you want to keep this vegetarian
- Salt & Pepper
- pasta, polenta or pearl barley to serve
- crème Fraiche to garnish
- chopped fresh parsley to garnish
Get everything chopped and prepped before you start.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan to very hot and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the mushrooms in two batches (use the second tablespoon of olive oil on the second batch) for about 4 minutes until they just start to break down but the water is not released. You just want to give them a quick sear. Set them aside.
In the same pan – or another cast iron skillet / Dutch oven with a lid, heat the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, thyme and Bacon and gently sweat over low heat for about 5 – 6 minutes until the onions become translucent and soften. You don’t want to brown them.
Add the garlic and tomato paste cook for a few seconds.
Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits that may have formed. All the liquid to reduce by a little more than half, then add the stock/broth.
Add the mushrooms and any escaped juices pack to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer over a low heat with the lid off for about 25 – 30 minutes giving it a stir every now and again.
To serve, toss through pasta or pile up on top of the barley or polenta. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche and a good sprinkling of chopped parsley.
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