Pretty much every week, my boyfriend makes his lunch for the week. Typically (90% of the time?), it is some sort of stew type concoction with meat that he eats over egg noodles. Chicken paprikash and beef bourgignon are on the rotation quite frequently and while I definitely don’t crave meat, I feel sad that I can never eat his cooking and I also feel like good stews are lacking from my life. The first place that my mind goes when I think of vegetarian stew is mushrooms. While I know it is not the most original choice, it is certainly delicious and smelled insanely satisfying as it was cooking, especially in this ‘spring’ weather (-10 and snowy, hooray!) that we are having.
While I will certainly make this all year round, this is particularly good as a ‘comfort-food’ type meal. I am always amazed at the amount of flavour onion, garlic, carrots, celery and leeks can provide as a base for this type of dish. The rehydrated dried mushrooms and their liquid give this an extra mushroom punch and the wine felt necessary. While I never liked opening up a bottle of wine just for 1/2 cup, I figured we could manage having a glass or two alongside this for dinner. This is just the type of a meal that screams to be served over egg noodles but if you want to go a little bit crazy, what about dumplings? Regular sized dumplings would be great, but we had it with spaetzle, a small dumpling (smaller than gnocchi) that is a cinch to put together.
While I hope the weather wherever you are, is better than ours, if it’s not, please make this. I really feel at the end of my rope: this winter has been long and cold and long and hard. It’s nice to have a warm cozy meal while we wait for the thaw.
**I guess when you cook a recipe a week in advance, things can change. I am happy to report that the weather here has drastically improved and my windows are open and there’s sunshine all around! I also realized that this is the 100th recipe on the blog! I can’t believe how quickly time has passed. I think the coolest thing for me (other than when someone leaves a comment, which tells me that people are actually reading my words and cooking my food!) is actually using the blog myself when I can’t think of anything to eat. I hope that things keep going strong and I am sure a whole host of new recipes are on their way!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
To make this vegan, just replace the butter with some extra olive oil.
In a small bowl, soak dried mushrooms in hot water. Set aside.
In a large pan, heat up butter and olive oil.
Add celery, carrot, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and sauté until starting to soften. About 4 minutes.
Add leeks and mushrooms. Sauté an additional 4-6 minutes, until mushrooms start to release their liquid.
Add thyme sprigs, mushroom soaking liquid, soaked mushrooms (roughly chopped), and red wine. Cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.
Add vegetable stock and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in flour and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Sauce should be nicely thickened and mushrooms should be tender.
Remove thyme sprigs and garnish with parsley.
Serve with spaetlze (see last posted recipe) or egg noodles or on its own!