Hold the beef, bring on the meaty mushrooms
Traditional French red wine stew is meatless but meatytasting in this quick and easy recipe from The Buddhist Chef (Appetite by Random House, $29.95), by Quebecer Jean-philippe Cyr. The large mushrooms on which it is based cook quickly, soy sauce zaps up the flavour, and all you need to make it into a sustaining winter meal is pasta or rice, says the chef, who lives in Joliette.
Cyr was converted to vegan cuisine in Asia, and has a blog under the same name as his book. The subtitle of his good-looking book is 100 Simple, Feel-good Vegan
Recipes, with winners including eggplant parmigiana, a BLT made with tofu bacon, Szechuan roasted green beans and chocolate cake. Photos by Samuel Joubert could easily convert you to vegan cuisine. Ingredients are mostly available in supermarkets, although you may have to seek out a specialty store for some of Cyr’s basics, such as agaragar and Himalayan black salt.
This recipe can be doubled for four servings and made a day in advance, refrigerated covered, then reheated.
• 3 portobello mushrooms, quartered
• 2 carrots, sliced in rounds
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
• 1 /4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground allspice
• Freshly ground pepper
• 11 /2 cups (375 ml) red wine
• 2 cups (500 ml) vegetable broth
• 1 / 4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce, or to taste
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) tomato paste
• 2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 tablespoon (15 ml) cornstarch
• 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water Fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 400F (200 C). In a large, ovenproof pot with cover, combine mushrooms, carrots, onion, oil, cumin, salt, allspice and pepper. Roast in preheated oven, covered, for 30 minutes.
Heat a burner on the stove to medium heat. Stir red wine into mixture and simmer, covered, for five minutes.
Add vegetable broth, soy sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup and bay leaves. Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
In a cup or small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, and stir into the stew. Bring mixture back to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat as soon as sauce has thickened, about one minute. Discard bay leaves.
Serve hot, trimmed with parsley.
The mushrooms in portobello bourguignon cook quickly, and soy sauce zaps up the flavour.