Serious Eats: Recipes

'Smitten Kitchen's Mushroom Bourguignon

[Photograph: Deb Perelman]

Those who have followed Deb Perelman's blog Smitten Kitchen for any length of time have learned that she works wonders with vegetables (and also butter). Her past life as a food-loving vegetarian shows in each of her recipes. Perelman's Mushroom Bourguignon in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is a perfect example of her vegetable creativity. Meaty portobellos (or creminis) and pearl onions are browned a la chuck roast, then added to a rich tomato and wine gravy. After only 20 minutes on the stove, the stew is thickened with beurre manié (butter and flour mixture), and it's ready to serve.

Why I picked this recipe: Another perfect dish for cooler temperatures, this stew showcases one of my favorite fall ingredients: the hearty mushroom.

What worked: This is a truly awesome recipe. Not only is it a fast (and vegetarian) alternative to beef stew, but it is also a wonderful mushroom dish in its own right.

What didn't: Unless you have a very wide pot, I'd recommend browning the mushrooms and onions in batches for the best results.

Suggested tweaks: Next time, I plan to mix in a few different kinds of mushrooms (blue oyster and shiitake are some of my favorites) along with the creminis for funkier flavor.

Excerpted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Copyright © 2012 by Deb Perelman. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Available wherever books are sold.

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