I quickly opened the door and rushed inside as the next gust of wind tried to carry me away. Not like Mary Poppins but Dorothy in Kansas. Inside, the house was warmed by the fire in the woodstove and the delicious smell of stroganoff that was waiting for me. Nineteen years ago I was eating dinner with my Dad rattling on and on about the concert I had just conducted. There was talk of the jazz greats, jazz theory and what an impact it has had on the current day. It was a good evening full of warmth, cheer and connection. Nineteen years later these memories came flooding back to me as I was chopping mushrooms and trying to create this meatless dish in my current kitchen making a bourguignon sauce. I wanted a rich, comforting dinner without the heavy sour cream sauce or beef on this particular night. This mushroom bourguignon recipe from Deb Pereleman at Smitten Kitchen was my ticket to happiness on a cold night. I started in on cleaning and slicing the cremini mushrooms and white button mushrooms. Pearl onions (frozen) were thawed and browned along with the mushrooms in a mixture of butter and olive oil. It was a calming thing browning these mushrooms and pearl onions. The mushrooms squeaked away as they danced with the pearl onions as I moved them around the pan. I am not sure why browning mushrooms was so calming to me but it allowed me to just be.
Next the carrots, onion, fresh thyme and garlic are sauteed. Red wine gets added and the liquid simmers until it is reduced by half. The mushroom onion mixture gets added back, along with tomato paste, and broth (I used beef because it was what I had on hand) come together again. I added beurre manié…or a butter and mixture. I let this simmer while I created my pasta.
No, I did not make this from scratch. Fresh pasta sheets were purchased at my local grocery store and I cut the pasta with my fluted wheel tool to resemble papparadelle. This suddenly made the dish fancy. You could use also use egg noodles.
This recipe could easily be done within an hour so long as you have the ingredients mise en place. The mushrooms nicely absorbed the rich tomato wine broth spiced with a hint of thyme, salt and pepper. This dish is a perfect dish for a weeknight meal, elegant enough for a dinner party and would tempt even the strictest of carnivores into coming back for seconds. Note: this could be made vegetarian and vegan by using earth balance butter and vegetable broth.
May this week warm up with some sunshine and finally launch us into spring…for real! Thanks for reading!