Just like beef, only with mushrooms.
I had some rutabagas that needed to be cooked. I have had them for two+ weeks, and my luck wasn’t going to hold out much longer. So I peeled and cubed them, then boiled them until they were soft. Per Mark Bittman, I put them in the food processor with three handfuls of almonds, salt, pepper, and some olive oil. Then I turned the processor on. When the whole thing was pureed, I stopped it, spooned some on a plate, and ate it with sautéed chicken. However, I cooked and pureed four rutabagas. There were leftovers.
I remembered a meal where beef stew was served over mashed potatoes. I could riff off that. And I did.
Often I use a wonderful recipe for beef bourguignon from Ina Garten. That takes about two hours to complete, and I wasn’t feelin’ it. Mushrooms are a decent, and fast, substitute for beef, I’m here to tell you. So I decided to put ‘shrooms over the leftover rutabaga puree. It was lovely. It is made for a weeknight after work. And if you don’t have rutabaga puree, serve it over mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or toasted bread.
Mushroom Bourguignon – serves four
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 portabella mushrooms, gills removed and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
12 sun-dried tomato halves, slivered; or 2 tablespoons tomato paste
10 branches of thyme (or half of a clamshell package that you get at the store)
1 bay leaf
2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 bottle your favorite red wine
1 tablespoon flour
Heat a large saucepan (Dutch oven actually) over medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil.
When the butter is melted, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and sun-dried tomatoes (or tomato paste). Stir and allow to cook in the fat for five minutes or so. You want these flavors to become part of the fat.
Add all of the mushrooms at once, and turn up the heat to medium high. Stir occasionally. The mushrooms will release a lot of moisture. Allow this mushroom juice to cook completely away. When the pan is pretty much dry, pour in the wine. Make sure it almost covers the mushrooms. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the remaining tablespoon of butter and flour together into a paste. After 15 minutes are up, remove the thyme and bay leaf. Mix the butter and flour paste into the mushroom stew. The sauce will thicken somewhat and become glossy. That’s when it’s done.
Put your vegetable puree, noodles, or other base of choice on a plate, and ladle the mushroom bourguignon over the top. Serve the rest of the wine with dinner. Oooooo – a sprinkling of chopped parsley would be perfect as a finish!