If you love mushrooms and cooking with red wine, this is the dish for you! It’s comforting, warm, savory and hearty. Perfect for the fall and winter nights ahead. Cozy up to a nice bowl of this mushroom stew. This is a great stew to make when entertaining friends and family. Pair it with a nice full-bodied red wine and you’ll surely please your guests. Recipe adapted from Food 52 Deb Perelman’s (Smitten Kitchen) Mushroom Bourguignon.
Mushrooms hold many health benefits and should be an important part of your healthy lifestyle. They keep your immune system healthy and certain types of mushrooms, like crimini, can be a good source of vitamin B 12. They also contain 15 different mineral, vitamins and antioxidant phytonutrients that are essential to good health. Don’t underestimate the power of mushrooms, if stored and cared for properly they will take care of you!
I decided to use farro as a bed for this bourguignon. This was my first time having farro and I must say it is really delicious. It has a texture that reminds of barley with a nutty flavor like brown rice. Farro is a grain that’s rich in protein (7 grams per serving), fiber (5 grams per serving), along with magnesium and vitamins A, B, C and E. Although it has a low gluten count, it’s not gluten free. If your looking to keep this a gluten free dish use brown rice or quinoa pasta instead. I’m happy to have this as a new addition to my grains and will be using it here and there in place of quinoa. I used Italian pearled farro which is hulled and cooks within 15 minutes, where as whole grain farro takes a bit longer.
I’m not much of a wine drinker these days but this was a treat. Red wine is very good for you and I could probably stand to have a glass every now and then. It has anti-oxidant, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also has anti-aging and longevity benefits. These are all good things as I want to be around and healthy for at least another 50 years! Did you know it’s one of a few recommended food/drinks for the prevention of prostate cancer, one of the leading causes of cancer among men. A glass or two daily can be good for you, although for myself I prefer every now and then. And cooking with red wine takes your dishes to another level of deliciousness.
I also discovered that some wines are processed using animal materials. During the winemaking process, the wine is filtered through ‘fining agents’ to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness and ‘off’ flavorings. Many winemakers use blood, bone marrow, casein (milk protein), parts of eggs and crustacean shells to as a filter. Not so tasty right?! There a few winemakers, and growing, who use plant based filters like carbon, bentonite clay, plant casein, silica gel and vegetable plaques in their filtering process. So needless to say with all this information I set out to hunt down a few vegan brands that are locally accessible.
Our Daily Red is an organic vegan wine I picked up at my local Sprout’s here in California. It was reasonably priced around $8 and paired beautifully in this mushroom bourguignon. Trader Joe’s also carries a few varieties from this winery with about the same price tag. I purchased the label, WELL REaD, from TJ’s for around $5 but haven’t tried it yet. Wondering if your wine is vegan? Check out Barnivore or EcoVine Wine, a database of vegan wines, and give your favorite wine label the test and find new labels to enjoy. With the holiday’s upon us, I will be stocking up on some of these wines for family gatherings. Looking forward to the days ahead.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds portobello, shiitake or crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup pearl onions, peeled and ends trimmed (thawed if frozen)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 heaping teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup full-bodied red wine
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
- Farro (I used pearled farro), pasta of choice or roasted/mashed potatoes
In a large dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over high heat, add mushrooms and pearl onions, sear until they begin to take on a little coloring, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully remove from pot and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium, add one tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots, onions, thyme, salt and pepper, saute for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly browned. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Slowly add the wine to the pot and scrap any bits that are stuck to the bottom or sides. Turn heat to high and reduce wine by half. Stir in tomato paste and broth, mix. Add in mushrooms and pearl onions, including any juices that have collected, back to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Let simmer, covered or cover askewed, stirring occasionally and enjoy the wonderful aroma.
In a small bowl, mix together the remaining tablespoon oil, or water, with flour to make a paste, stir into the stew. Simmer for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to the right consistency. Season to taste.
Serve spooned over a bed of farro, pasta of choice, roasted or mashed potatoes.
Serves 4 – 6