I like to think that I know my way around the kitchen, but I tend to rarely cook something substantial on my own or even take the lead on cooking something with a group of people. Mostly, it takes someone else to start cooking to be able to coax me into the kitchen to help them. Last week, though, I decided to stop being lazy and actually do something.
Evan’s gotten me hooked on Smitten Kitchen by making a lot of delicious things from there. After just a little browsing early last week, I came across what looked like a mouthwatering recipe for mushroom buorguignon. Go take a look at the full recipe over at Smitten Kitchen, but here are the ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices (save the stems for another use) (you can use cremini instead, as well)
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 (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 all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
Egg noodles, for serving
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Yes, that’s 2 pounds of portbella mushrooms! How could this be anything but amazing? For the most part, the quantities and times in the original recipe were spot on, except for a few exceptions.
2 pounds of mushrooms proved to be far too many mushrooms to sear in one go, so I ended up doing 2 batches, of course adding more olive oil and butter for the second batch, leaving me with a bowl of delicious-looking mushrooms (apologies for the photo quality; these were just taken with an iPhone).
I don’t really believe in cooking with wine that you wouldn’t find acceptable to drink on its own, so the concept of “cooking wine” is foreign to me. If a recipe calls for wine, I like to just pick a wine I think would go well with the meal, use some of it in the recipe, then drink the rest of it with the meal. It even means the dish pairs perfectly with the wine! For this one I selected an earthy, full-bodied Spanish red to complement the mushrooms. Here it is reducing with the onions and carrots (fun fact: taking a deep breath of the steam from a simmering pot of wine is an immediate, but short-lived buzz).
While adding the flour near the end, I noticed it wasn’t getting quite as thick as I’d like for a bourguignon, so I doubled the flour for a total of 2-3 tablespoons. The whole thing started to look pretty appetizing as it was nearing completion.
The recipe says the sour cream and fresh chive garnish is optional, but who can refuse sour cream and chives?
Overall, I considered this meal an absolute success. Except for a little help from Evan with peeling the pearl onions, I did everything on my own (a rare feat for me) and it was certainly one of the tastiest things I’ve ever cooked.