This mushroom stew is very much the vegetarian equivalent of beef bourguignon. Gather whatever medley of mushrooms you can find + a bottle of cheap red wine = delicious dinner. I served it over creamy polenta (found in the Squab glazed with port reduction with creamy polenta recipe)
serves: 4 difficulty: medium prep time: 40-50 min
- 2 lbs mushroom – mix of button, shiitake, trumpet, maitake, enoki – whatever you can find.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 oz can tomatoes
- 1/2 yellow onion or 2 shallots
- 1 bottle (cheap) red wine
- 1/2 bunch of thyme
for the polenta:
- 1 cup polenta
- 6 cups of liquid – stock or milk, or combination thereof
- 2 tbs butter
- left over rinds from Pargmigiano Reggiano (if you happen to have them) or 1 oz of grated Pargmigiano Reggiano
Rinse and chop the mushrooms into 1/2 inch pieces.
Chop the onions or shallots.
Heat a pot. Add the olive oil and when it shimmers, reduce the heat to medium, add the chopped onions. Saute the onions until they are translucent. Add the chopped mushroom, and stir well. Season with 1 tbs salt and black pepper. Cover the pot and let cook for 5 min. The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid.
Puree the canned tomatoes (if they are not pureed already). Tie the thyme sprigs with kitchen twine. Add the tomatoes and thyme to the mushrooms and cook for another 2-3 min.
Then add the bottle of wine, bring the stew to a boil, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer until the mushrooms are very tender. That will take 60-90 min. If the liquid has evaporated add water or stock as needed. The resulting stew should be thick.
While the stew is cooking, cook the polenta. Place the liquid in a pot, and bring to a boil. Once the liquid is boiling, add the polenta slowly while constantly stirring. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and simmer for 20 min. If you are using milk as liquid – you need to stir the polenta often – as often as every min – because it will have the tendency to stick to the bottom and burn. If you are using only stock – stir every 5 min or so. It will thicken quickly, and if it thickens too much – add some more chicken stock or water. After 20 min add the cheese rind. I never discard the rinds from Parmigiano – because I always use them when I cook polenta. The rinds will semi- melt and give the polenta delicious cheesiness. If you don’t have rinds, grate some Parmigiano and add it at the end – when the polenta is cooked.
Continue simmering it for another 30 min, while stirring often and add more liquid if needed. Don’t worry too much if it burns slightly on the bottom, and there is a brown crust mixed in it (as it happened on the picture above). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter.
Server over mashed potatoes or creamy polenta.
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