It's been a little quiet on the blogging front of late. After I had some fun with some superhero snacks I've been busy just working and looking after Mr Sprout and the furkids. I've not been very inspired lately either, just tired I guess and in need of a rest. Sometimes it's all I can do to make dinner, let alone create for a blog. I have been trying to pick a recipe a week that I haven't tried before from my ever growing cookbook and magazine collection, but so often when we are short on time we stick to the speedy meals we know so well! But all that will shortly change...I'll be sharing more about that soon!
Being July the days are short and cold, the sun doesn't peek at us as often, and comfort food is so easy to reach for (and pack on some extra kgs!) Don't get me wrong, raw vegan is great and I eat a lot that way when its warmer. But there is nothing wrong in eating cooked food when it is cold, and also nothing wrong with a lashing of comfort food now and again, especially if your veggie intake is so high. If it's cold and the thought of a winter slaw makes you shudder, go and get the lentil soup. Or in this case, champignon bourguignon. I know what you're thinking, the beef version has high expectations, and doesn't it have mushrooms in it anyway, so just omit the poor dead cow, add some seitan? Yes and no.
I wanted this to be perfect comfort food, full of wintery flavours that warm you through. I looked at a few recipes for the omnivore version and played around with the flavourings. I didn't want this to be a mock meat version of the original, mock meat has a place and there are some truly great products out there, but I like to eat whole foods wherever we can (there are some mock meat products that I truly shudder when I read the ingredients list ). I don't think anything is missing with this version, truly. I had the added joy of using homegrown shallots, garlic, and herbs; homegrown Russian kale, and made some dauphinoise with some homegrown spuds to go with it.
Guillame Brahimi has a recipe that involves pureed carrot to thicken and flavour the dish at the end so there is no need to add flour. I loved this idea because somehow using flour to thicken a red wine dish seems to make it go grey! It also means this dish is gluten free, even better! I decided to forgo the carrot, but some pureed beetroot would add some great flavour and truly make it a bourguignon colour! You can use tinned beetroot for ease, just drain and rinse well to get rid of as much sugar as you can. I also happened to have a little liquid smoke left from making BBQ sauce, so put this in too. It isn't readily available in Australia but I got some from the Country Brewer. They also do online ordering if you don't have one near you. Serve with some mashed potatoes and steamed kale, or be decadent and have with some vegan potatoes dauphinoise.
300gr button mushrooms
300gr Swiss brown mushrooms
2 large carrots, chopped into chunks
handful of chopped celeriac leaf (you can just use some celery, I just had some celeriac in the fridge)
3-4 bay leaves
sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
3 shallots ( I mean the bulb kind, not the grassy spring onion some folks call shallots) chopped
1 large garlic clove, bruised and finely chopped
1 tsp Massel beef style stock powder (no MSG, gluten free that's why I use it)
400 ml red wine
100 ml water
1 large cooked pureed beetroot (about 3/4 cup)
few drops liquid smoke (not essential, but adds a certain something)
chopped parsley to serve
In a large oven proof saucepan, gently saute garlic and shallots until translucent.
Add thyme, bay, carrots, mushrooms, and celeriac leaf, and saute for another five minutes or so.
Add wine, water, stock powder, and liquid smoke. Bring to the boil, and leave for five minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to "marinate" for a few hours. you could even leave overnight in the fridge and continue the next day.
Cover and put into a 180C oven, for approx 30 minutes.
Take out, uncover, and add the beetroot puree.
Put back into the oven and leave uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Serve with plenty of chopped parsley, cracked black pepper, and crusty bread.