Portobello Burgundy

This dish almost didn’t make it onto Comfort Me With Beets until I realized that the reason I wasn’t initially wowed by it might be exactly why others would appreciate it. It tastes like beef Burgundy without the beef. Its flavor profile mirrors its meaty counterpart and is delicious. Someone attempting to build more main courses around vegetables rather than meat would recognize and find comfort in this amalgamation of mushrooms, onions, and wine. It’s so tasty that husband not only had two servings, he also ate a significant portion of the aromatics I’d strained from the sauce.

I prefer vegetarian dishes that shine as their own thing rather than imitations of something meaty. However, a person who is less flavor adventurous might gladly add this recipe to a developing flexitarian repertoire. This is not a vegan dish as made by moi, but can easily be turned into one by omitting anchovy paste and substituting vegetable stock for chicken stock. A major advantage to this dish is that it is not an all day project like a traditional Boeuf Bourguignon.

It also reheats well and transports easily. I plan to take this on the road and serve it with homemade polenta prepared a day in advance and sliced. The whole thing can be microwaved on board Pernell.

Serves 4.

Serve with polenta.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil.
  • 2½ pounds (1kg) portobello mushroom caps, quartered.
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed.
  • 2 tablespoons flour or a GF thickener of your choice.
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken or vegetable stock.
  • 1 cup (250ml) red wine; make it a pinot noir if you can.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste (optional).
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 1 medium sized carrot, chopped.
  • 6 or more cloves of garlic, unpeeled and smashed.
  • 1 ounce (30g) dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed.
  • a bunch of fresh parsley, sprigs and 1-2 tablespoons minced.
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • black peppercorns, about half a teaspoon.
  • ground salt and pepper.

Method

  1. Heat a couple of good glugs of olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high.
  2. Add the portobello mushrooms and pearl onions; spinkle with pinches of salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have released their juices. About 8 minutes.
  3. Uncover and cook until mushrooms are tender and pan is nearly dry. 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer vegetables to a bowl.
  5. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in empty pot. Add flour and stir until no dry flour remains. Whisk in broth, wine, tomato paste and anchovy paste.
  6. Stir, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot and smooth out any lumps.
  7. Stir in diced onion, carrots, garlic, porcini, parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  8. Bring to a boil and cook until onions are soft and liquid has thickened. About 12-15 minutes.
  9. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl. Strain the liquid into the bowl, pressing on the solids to extract as much sauce as possible; discard solids.
  10. Return sauce to the pot. Stir in portobellos and onions. Cook until heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  11. Garnish with chopped parley and serve over yellow polenta.

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