This dish is great to make for company as it sounds fancy, tastes equally luxurious and can be made a day in advance. It’s also the perfect dinner to make for a lazy winter Sunday when you are hanging around the house watching movies, doing chores (or writing blog posts and watching Dr. Who). This is exactly what I did last Sunday,and what a glorious day it was indeed.
Mushroom Seitan Bourguignon
1 brown paper mushroom bag filled to the top with small cremini mushrooms, washed left whole
2 cups dried mushrooms (porcini, shiitake, whatever you have on hand. I used Shiitake)
2 cups boiling water (to re-hydrate mushrooms)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots , sliced into rounds
1 lg onion, md dice
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
2-3 cups of drinkable red wine*
3 cups veggie stock (if store bought use low sodium)
1 tbsp tomato paste
350g (approx) of prepared “plain” seitan (I used a store bought variety, they often come pre-marinated so make sure this kind isn’t teriyaki or something, lol)
1-2 bay leaves
2 tsp Herbs de Provence
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp butter (or non- hydrogenated vegan “butter” like Earth Balance)
1 tsp coarse sea salt
10-12 cracks of pepper from a peppermill (or about a tsp)
1) Rehydrate dried mushrooms in boiling water. This takes about 20-30 minutes. They will double in size or more so make sure to use a big enough bowl to accommodate that.
2)Preheat oven to 325 degrees
3) Heat a dutch oven to md on the stove top and add the olive oil. When oil is hot add the onion. You want the onions partially caramelized at this point which will take about 7-10 minutes. You can add a 1/2 a shot glass of water if they start to stick too much. Make sure you don’t have the heat too hot otherwise they will half burn which is no good. When they are a light brown “ish” colour add the garlic, carrot and fresh mushrooms. Then add the flour. Cook for approx 3-5 minutes making sure the flour doesn’t burn on the bottom. It’s ok if some gets stuck. That is tasty flavour my friends. (It’s called the fond, and we iz gonna deglaze that shit. Aww yeah.)
3) Add the re-hydrated mushrooms and all their liquid, the wine and veggie stock. Make sure you stir and scrape off (deglaze) the bottom bits. Then add the seitan, tomato paste,and the rest of the seasonings.
4) Bring everything up to a simmer for about 4 mintues, then turn off the burner.
5) Place on middle oven rack and cook for 3 hrs. About halfway through check the level of liquid and seasoning. The liquid should just be covering the ingredients. Ajust seasoning as needed.
6) After 3 hours remove from the oven and check again for seasoning and consistency. The liquid part should be the consistency of light gravy.
7) If it’s not the right consitency you can thicken with tapioca powder, arrowroot powder or cornstarch. I prefer arrowroot as it is more natural that cornstarch but works just as well. Set the dutch oven on a burner and turn it on to md-low heat. Put 2 tsp of powder in a small ramekin with equal amounts of water. Use a fork to blend together into a “slurry” and add to the stew. Stir for a few minutes until it thickens.
8) Serve on top of buttered egg noodles (my favourite) , or boiled potatoes. If you are feeling sassy you could also use mashed potatoes. I served mine this time with green peas, but I think green beans would be a nice accompaniment as well.
* A few notes about cooking with wine: Use a tasty inexpensive wine that you enjoy drinking to use for cooking . The “Cooking Wine” that you see in the vinegar aisle of the grocery store is gross. If you put untasty things in your food it will also be untasty. Go figure? lol. You don’t need to drop a lot of coin, there are TONS of drinkable wines out there in the $10-$20 range. If you live somewhere else besides Canada, they can be even cheaper ! This time I used a Nero D’avola. Yum Yum Yum.
I also realize that some people have concerns about cooking with alcohol. The most common question is: Does the alcohol cook off 100%? I’m concerned about serving this dish to my ” insert child, or adult who doesn’t want/can’t have alcohol here”
When cooking with alcohol It really depends on what type you are using, how much in relation to other ingredients, and how long it is being cooked for. This dish cooks for 3 hrs so by the time it is done there might be a fractional percentage of alcohol content left, if any. So for this dish the answer is yes, its totally cool to serve this dish to “insert child or adult who doesn’t want/can’t have alcohol here”
Adapted from Mastering The Art of French Cooking. Volume One. Bouef Bourguingnon, pg 315 -317: by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck