mushroom bourguignon

January 19, 2012 § 1 Comment

i’ve already fallen off of the healthy bandwagon and rolled right back into hearty comfort foods.  don’t judge. it’s COLD here, people. well, that, and i realized that “i’ve grown accustomed to this waist,” it a perfect substitute for “i’ve grown accustomed to her face” during my solo my fair lady reprises. just sayin.

anyway, this is a big win as far as comfort food goes. the recipe is from smitten kitchen.

the stuff:

2T olive oil
2T butter, softened
2lbs portobello mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1/4 inch slices (this looks like a lot of portabello. probably about 8 big guys, but remember they shrink down. a lot).
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 (clearly I went with the latter)
2 T tomato paste
1t fresh thyme leaves
1 1/2 T all purpose flour
1c pearl onions (thawed if frozen.  NB: usually i am against frozen vegetables. not here. peeling pearl onions? not awesome.)
sour cream and chopped chives for garnish.

if you’re feeling old school, plan to serve atop boiled potatoes.  new school? egg noodles.

the how-to:

heat the olive oil and 1T butter in a dutch oven over high heat. sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but before they begin to release liquid (3-4 minutes-ish). remove mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
lower the heat to medium and add the second T of olive oil. toss in carrots, yellow onion, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.

add the wine to the pot to deglaze (read: scrape the bottom of the pan a bit). turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid by half (NB: this happens rather quickly). add tomato paste and the broth, add the mushrooms back in, along with any liquid that has collected. bring the liquid up to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for approximately 20 minutes; until the mushrooms are quite tender. add in the pearl onions and give it another 5 minutes at a simmer.

in a separate bowl, combine the flour and remaining melty T of butter until it is combined to make a late-stage roux. add it to the stew to thicken. lower the heat and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

serve atop your carb of choice with sour cream and chives. yum.

NOTES:

(1) from whence came you?  clearly, this dish is derived from the better known beef bourguignon (or boeuf bourguignon for you purists).  that dish, in turn, was popularized in the US by julia child’s “mastering the art of french cooking.” if you are curious about the original, and don’t have julia’s books at home, you should probably get on that.  in the interim, you can find it here: http://www.oprah.com/food/Boeuf-Bourguignon

(2) cooking wine.  first things first.  (1) when selecting a wine to cook with, please, for the love of god, pick up something that you would actually drink.  garbage in, garbage out, people.  (2)  this is, unsurprisingly, one of the regional dishes of Burgundy, France.  So if you want to go all out, find yourself a french burgundy.  if not, go for a pinot noir, which is the dominant wine in the region.

(3) trusty sidekick had a few questions in the kitchen last night.  question 1:  what makes a dutch oven?  at the time, i responded by sort of helplessly pointing at the le creuset and saying “when it looks like that.”  admittedly, not the most satisfying answer.  wikipedia’s response: “a dutch oven is a thick-walled (usually cast iron) cooking pot with a tight fitting lid.” mine looks like this:

oh, i would be remiss if i didn’t also note that wikipedia has an alternative “dutch oven” entry.  a dutch oven is also “a slang term for pulling a cover over someone’s head while in bed and creating flatulence, thereby creating an area of foul-odored air in an enclosed space that must be inhaled.”  striving to leave no stone unturned and no question unanswered, wikipedia continues, “this is done as a prank or by accident to one’s sleeping partner.”  lovely.

(4)  trusty sidekick question #2: what does it mean to deglaze?  last night’s answer:”wine and brown bits. you know, to make your sauce?”  wikipedia answer: “deglazing is a cooking technique for removing and dissolving caramelized bits of food from a pan to make a pan sauce.  when a piece of meat is roasted, pan fried or prepared in a pan with another form of dry heat, a deposit of caramelized sugars, carbohydrates, and/or proteins forms on the bottom of the pan, along with any rendered fat.  the French culinary term for these deposits is sucs, from the French word sucre (sugar).  usually, the meat is removed and the majority of fat is poured off, leaving a small amount with the dried and caramelized meat juices.  the pan is returned to the heat, and a liquid such as vegetable or meat stock, a spirit, some wine, or verjuice is added to act as a solvent.  this allows the cook to scrape the dark spots from the bottom of the pan and dissolve them, creating a basic sauce. The culinary term fond, French for “base” or “foundation”, refers to this sauce, although it is also sometimes used to describe the caramelized food bits instead (commonly in America).”  well done, wikipedia.  well done, indeed.

(5) trusty sidekick question #3: what is a roux?  last night’s answer: “ummm, flour and butter.  you know, to make it thick.”  i think last night’s answer may have also involved some unnecessary hand gestures intended to help convey the meaning of the word ‘thick.’  it’s a wonder people still talk to me.  anyway, to wikipedia!: “roux is a cooked mixture of wheat flour and fat (traditionally butter).  it is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce bechamel, sauce veloute and sauce espagnole.  Clarified butter, vegetable oils, or lard are commonly used fats. it is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews.  It is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat by weight.”  ta-da!

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