Bourguignon refers to a stew that is made with beef, braised in red wine. I came across this recipe from Melissa Clark at the nytimes.com and thought it was an interesting way to make a hearty stew without meat. Since the traditional dish gets its intense, savory flavor from beef, we’ll be using some vegetable tricks to replicate this satisfying flavor. Mushrooms, especially Asian mushrooms like shitake, are known for their umami intensity. Mushrooms are high in compounds called glutamates. When glutamates come in contact with the taste receptors on our tongue, they are responsible for that savory, umami flavor. Dried shitake mushrooms are especially high in glutamates and I highly recommend using them in this recipe (see note at end of the recipe). Tomato paste and tamari, or soy sauce, also add to this dish’s beef-like richness. The ingredient list appears to be lengthy but it’s an easy one-pot meal that I was able to make after work. I served it over smashed potatoes but it would be delicious over polenta, rice, noodles or even with a big piece of whole-grain bread.
2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter OR 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 pounds of mixed mushrooms like portobello, cremini, shitake, oyster, etc., cut into 1″ chunks, about 10 cups.
1 large onion cut into 1-inch or slightly smaller pieces, about 2 cups (original recipe calls for pearl onions)
salt and ground black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
2 cups mushroom broth, see note below, or vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tamari (soy sauce)
3 large fresh thyme branches or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 fresh rosemary sprig or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 bay leaf
salt and ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a large Dutch oven, set over medium heat. Add 1/2 of the mushrooms and 1/2 of the onions to the Dutch oven (don’t overcrowd the pan). Cook mushrooms until they are brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Don’t stir them while they are browning. After they’ve browned on one side, stir them to brown the other side. Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan and repeat with remaining olive oil, butter, mushrooms and onions. Remove mixture from the pan, season the mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Reduce heat to med-low. Add the carrots, garlic, and tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the wine, broth, tamari, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring it to a simmer.
- Add the reserved mushrooms and onions, cover, and continue cooking at a low simmer until carrots are tender and sauce is thick about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve over smashed potatoes, polenta, noodles or with a piece of whole-grain bread.
Note: As part of the mushroom mixture, I highly recommend using dried shitake mushrooms, about 8 mushrooms. Rehydrate them in 1 cup of hot water for about 15 minutes. Slice the mushroom caps into thick strips, discard the tough stems. Add the mushroom broth that remains after you rehydrate them to the stew with an additional 1 cup of mushroom broth.
I used this mushroom base to make my mushroom broth.
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s recipe at https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1020738-mushroom-bourguignon