I had this dish cooked for me by friends at a dinner party who were probably thinking: what on earth will I cook this gluten free, vegetarian, high maintenance guest? Well. Did they ever choose well.
This dish is hearty, filling, delicious, easy, fiber rich, gluten free, and vegetarian (and easily vegan!).
I recently cooked this up for a family dinner where I had some tough "meatatarians" to win over... with this dish it was easy peasy. The only person who I can't win with this recipe is my mushroom denier sister-in-law. But she's the only one.
This recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen and so is the photo (I always eat this meal too fast to take a proper photo). I find it best when I can use a variety of mushrooms for their distinct flavours, but I would most certainly avoid white mushrooms. They lack flavour and they also lack nutrients.
I enjoy this served over garlic mashed potatoes with a dollop of full fat sour cream (don't be scared of the fat! We need a certain amount of saturated and unsaturated fats in our diet for our hormones, gallbladder, brain/nerve, and eye health). If you are watching your simple carbohydrate intake or following a grain free diet, use cauliflower mashed potatoes instead (detoxinista.com/2012/11/mashed-cauliflower-vegan-paleo/).
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened (just use more oil if vegan)
2 pounds diced mushrooms (I use a mix of portabellos, cremini, shiitake, and oyster when I can find them)
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups vegetable broth (beef broth is traditional but vegetable to make it vegetarian; it works with either)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 1/2 tablespoons gluten free flour
1 cup pearl onions, peeled or 1 cup scallions cut in to 4
Mashed potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes for serving
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat the one tablespoon of the oil and one tablespoon of butter in a medium heavy sauce pan over high heat. Sear the mushrooms until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid — about three or four minutes. Remove them from pan. You may have to do this in batches, as Julia Childs would say "don't crowd the mushrooms".
Lower the heat to medium and add the second tablespoon of oil. Toss the carrots, onions, thyme, a few good pinches of salt and a several grinds of black pepper into the pan and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions (or scallions) and simmer for five minutes more.
Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
To serve, spoon the stew over a bowl of mashed potatoes, dollop with sour cream (optional if vegan, use Tofuetti as a vegan alternative) and sprinkle with chives or parsley.