Monday, December 6, 2010

Burgundy Mushroom Stew

It snowed!
We had beautiful big fluffy snowflakes come down last weekend and ended up with a few inches of snow. It's so refreshing to see it (I'll be sick of it by March but love it in December). We were able to cross country ski for a short time (the snow was a bit sticky), so we wanted something hearty and warming for dinner. I had been thinking about this stew for awhile, since it's perfect for a cool winter evening.

One of my favorite restaurants in Minneapolis at the time we lived there was Cafe Brenda; however, it closed about a year ago, if you're trying to find it. I have great memories of sitting there and watching snowflakes floating past the big windows and stepping out into the cold air and the festive atmosphere of the Christmas parade. It was a vegetarian/seafood restaurant...fortunately I have The Cafe Brenda Cookbook. Some of the recipes are a bit fussy for the home cook with limited time, and I wouldn't say that this is a great purchase unless you want to get some time consuming vegetarian recipes. In fact, this recipe calls for homemade stock, something I don't do too often at this point in my life. So, it isn't a must have, but I will give you the version I make of the burgundy stew because that is hearty and delicious and does give you a large dose of vegetables.

1T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and minced
4 c vegetable stock/broth
1 c red wine
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 t dried thyme
1/4 t cayenne
1/4 t marjoram
1 t salt
4 T butter or vegetable oil
4 T flour
3 T tomato paste
1 T butter or olive oil
1 1/2 -2 lb mushrooms, quartered.

Saute mushrooms in stockpot and remove from pan.

Saute onion in olive oil until soft. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and bell pepper and continue to saute until the vegetables are tender. Combine stock, wine, sauteed vegetables, potatoes, herbs. Cover and simmer over low heat.

Make roux by melting 4 T butter or oil in small saucepan. Add 4 T four, mixing well. Cook mixture for 3 minutes stirring to keep it from sticking. Whisk 2 c stock into this and add tomato paste and stir well. Pour this mixture into the stew. Simmer, covered, until thick (5 minutes or so).

Saute mushrooms then add to the stew. Simmer until the potatoes are done (15 minutes or so).

I did (believe it or not) cut down on the butter/oil a bit in this recipe but it tastes fine to us. It does pack in a lot of vegetables though so at least the fat is accompanied by something good. I had some artisan bread I had made earlier in the day in anticipation of stew, so it was a bit of a Twin Cities kind of meal. I guess that really makes sense with the snow.

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