Vegetarian Bourguignon, a spin to our classic French recipe.
I am blessed behind believe that my wonderful friend, Michelin Star accredited Chef, my mentor, cooking instructor, author, and restaurant owner, Eliane Muskus from Born to Taste, accepted to come and visit me and my family for a few days before heading back to the Netherland. Pinching moment. And then fear set it. I will have to cook!!! Talk about intimidation.
However, in the chef’s fashion, she wanted to work in the kitchen with me and prepare a couple of new dishes. The recipe selected for our day was set to be a perfect day cooking, taping and of course, rewarded with a great meal at the end of it all.
In her new cookbook, “Let’s Eat”she has a lot of vegetarian recipes. Old French classics, rewritten and reintroduce into a vegetarian dish. To order the book click HERE.
This Vegetarian Bourguignon recipe is exceptional. Once you will bite into the mushrooms and taste the sauce, you will be transported into a different culinary dimension.
What is a Bourguignon?
Bourguignon also called beef Burgundy, is a French classic beef stew that is braised in red wine, often from the Burgundy region, with beef stock, garlic, and garnished with bouquet garni, pearl onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
What is the difference between beef stew and beef Bourguignon?
The difference is the red wine. The French use red wine and our American counterparts use water, beef broth, or tomato sauce. However, the stews with wine must be cooked slowly.
This is a pretty simple recipe with lots of steps. Read it twice just to familiarize yourself with all of them therefore mise en place, or chop, cut, and prepare all your ingredients prior to starting cooking.
However, I have a few pointers to give you to prepare this recipe.
Read this recipe twice and have all your ingredients ready prior to starting. You will thank me later.
The most important ingredient that we are always tempted to use is salt and as you can see very little is used with this recipe, and the reason being is that not only we are using anchovy paste which is already giving a rich flavor to this dish, but while cooking the rich flavor intensifies.
Once soaked, do SAVE the liquid. That liquid has so much flavor that it will enhance any dish. If you do not want to use it here, save it and use it when making risotto.
Pickled onionsare a quick alternative to fresh. Make sure you rinse them before cooking. Would not recommend frozen as they will turn soggy.
We used baby Bella mushrooms, have fun and add some wild mushrooms to them.
When purchasing the mushrooms make sure they are all the same size. Much easier to cook evenly. Do not wash them underwater as they absorb the water and will be hard to roast.
Cook the mushrooms and pearl onions in batches. Overcrowding the Dutch oven will be a detriment as they will not cook evenly. The mushrooms need to be browned on all sides.
Add the wine to the center of your pan to eliminate any spilling to go over the heat source.
Deglazing is so important as you do not want to leave behind any pieces of vegetables that are full of flavor.
Rule of thumb if you need to thicken the sauce: equal part cornstarch and water.
Season at the last minute with salt.
And one more thing…
One of Eliane’s advice was that anytime we add flour to a pan and add either butter, oil like in this instance, we always have to cook the flour to remove its flavor of it and bring out its nuttier taste of it.
Potatoes are an excellent side dish, pureed. Creamy polenta or pasta. However, a great baguette will transport you to France.
White wine is a great substitute, and of course, you can make this recipe non-vegetarian.
In a small dish place the dried porcini mushrooms, soak them in warm water for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from water, squeeze the water out and roughly chop. Save the soaking water and add the liquid to the mushroom stock. Set the porcini aside.
Cook the mushrooms in batches by adding half of the mushrooms with half of the pearl onions, with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to the pan. Cook covered for about 6 minutes until all the liquid has rendered, and the mushrooms are tender and caramelized. Remove from the heat and set aside. Repeat the same process with the remaining half of mushrooms and pearl onions.
Once the second batch is done, uncover and add the first batch of mushrooms back to the pan, reducing the heat to low. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms are tender about 8 minutes.
When done, transfer the mushrooms mixture to a bowl and set aside.
Return the pot to the stove over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and flour by carefully whisking the flour and oil until well combined and the combination starts to get a light caramel color.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl dissolve the agar-agar or corn starch with ½ cup of the vegetable broth. Set aside.
When the carrots and the onions are done add the corn starch-broth combination and stir well.
Add the wine to the center of the pan to deglaze by stirring and dislodging any brown bits that may be stuck to the bottom or the side of the pan.
Carefully pour in the mushrooms stock to which you added the porcini mushrooms water, fresh thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil and cook while stirring occasionally and the liquid has thickened somewhat. About 10 to 12 minutes.
When the liquid is thickened, it should be slowly coming off the spoon almost like a light syrup consistency, remove from heat.
Over a large bowl, place a large sieve and place the pan vegetables with the liquid through the sieve to separate the liquid from the solids. With a rubber spatula, press the solids to get as much juice as you possibly can.
Return the liquid to the pan and discard the solids. If at this point if your sauce is too thin add equal parts liquid and corn starch and mix them into the liquids and let it thicken by stirring well.
Season with salt and pepper. Be careful when adding the salt as there is already 1 tablespoon anchovy paste which should not be omitted as it gives the dish great depth of flavor.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add the mushrooms/pearl onions mixture and cook until heated thru about 5 minutes.
Serve over creamy polenta, pasta, or silky-smooth potato puree. Sprinkle some finely chopped parsley over your dish, optional.
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