Friday, 28 December 2012

Vegetable Bourguignonne with Sundried Tomato and Rosemary Polenta

After a couple of days of cold, buffet style finger food, its nice to return home to warm food.  One of the dishes we have been tucking into is this deep chocolate brown Chestnut Mushrooms and Vegetable Bourguignonne.  The slow cooking process has tainted the orange of the Chantenay carrots and creamy lace colour of the parsnips.

Also, please forgive me for the darkness of the photographs, but it is that time of year again when natural light is overshadowed by sulky dark skies.  Regardless of this very honest excuse, this is still a deep dark meaty looking dish.  What it lacks in vibrant colours, it makes up in bold flavour.  To make it appeal to the eyes moreso, I accompanied the dish with pan-fried golden polenta cut into the shape of Christmas trees and studded with winter herbs and minced sun dried tomato to mimic Christmas baubles and decorations that adorn festive trees this time of year.  I really enjoyed the pan-fried crunch.
I would strongly recommend that you make this dish a day or two in advance for the flavours to meld.  Its a dish that re-heats wonderfully.  And the polenta can also be made in advance, only needing to be pan-fried in a little olive oil.  If you don't fancy polenta, you could also accompany this stew with mashed potatoes or a good crusty home-made bread. 
I am submitting a generous bowl of this Chestnut Mushrooms and Vegetable Bourguignonne to December-January editiion of Simple and In Season, a monthly event created by Ren Behan at Fabulicious Food. This month it is being hosted by Lavender and Lovage

A2KChestnut Mushrooms and Vegetable Bourguignonne
Serves 4 - 6
A2K Ingredients
200g cooked whole chestnuts
4 tablespoon olive oil
1 bulb garlic, peeled and cloves left whole
200g shallots, peeled and halved

100g baby or Chantenay carrots, unpeeled
100g parsnips, peeled and sliced into bite size chunks
3 - 4 sticks celery, peeled and chopped
300g chestnut mushrooms, stalks removed
2 bay leaves
Sprig of fresh rosemary from the A2K herb plot
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
120ml red wine
1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon tomato puree
800ml stock made with 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
A2K Method
Preheat oven to gas mark 6.
Heat the olive oil in a large baking tray. Add the garlic cloves and shallots and roast for until the shallots are tender. Then carefully transfer  the roasted vegetables and all the other vegetables into a large slow cooker; or ovenproof casserole dish with a lid. Stir in the cooked chestnuts, mushrooms. Add the wine, tamari, tomato puree and stock, herbs and season to taste. Stir well to combine. Now either reduce the heat in the oven to Gas mark 3 and cook for 2 hours or on high to medium heat for 2 - 3 hours in a slow cooker. Stir occasionally to prevent vegetables sticking. Check for seasoning before serving in large deep bowls.  Adapted from this recipe.

A2K Ingredients for the Sun dried Tomato and Rosemary Polenta Christmas Trees
200g instant polenta
800ml vegetable stock or water
sprig of rosemary, minced
40 g sun dried tomatoes, drained of its oil and minced
A little olive oil to pan-fry the polenta
A2K Method
Bring stock or water to the boil, when boiling steadily pour in the polenta whisking all the time for the polenta to thicken, as it begins to thicken stir in both the minced rosemary and sundried tomatoes.  When the polenta starts to bubble and spit, pour into a large oiled baking tin.  Allow to cool completely, before turning out and cutting into wedges or using a cookie cutter for your desired shape (as you can see above I used my Christmas Tree Shaped Cookie cutter). 
Heat oil in a wide pan and pan-fry on both sides for a couple of minutes before serving.


  1. This looks like a wonderful meal. I always pass by chestnuts in the market because I don't know what to do with them, but this looks like a delicious way to put them to good use. I'll have to pick some up and make this dish!

  2. Dearest Shaheen, I hope you've been well! I'm not sure if you celebrate Christmas, but if you do, I hope you had a good time.

    Do I have never heard of 'Bourguignonne'(and have no idea how to pronounce it!), it sounds interesting- I love carrots but I'm not so sure about chestnuts...

    Take care!

    1. Thank you so much Summaiyyah, so good to hear from you. I do hope your well. I understand your reservations about chestnuts, try them in soup - blitzed.

  3. The secret ingredient seems to be the tamari. Bet this is delicious Shaheen.

    So good to see you blogging again. Missed you.

    1. So good to hear from you GardeningBren, and please forgive me for the lack of communication - work commitments have truly taken over my life, i have foudn a little time to catch up with blogging, but I know it won't last. I miss you too. x Happy New Year to you, if I don't get round to visiting your blog or to write to youx You are in my thoughts

  4. Fun food for the holidays. Happy ones to you. Please set up to screen your comments but do away with the I am not a robot system. It is damn near impossible to read.

    1. Thank you Stephen, Forgive me I had to set up the I am not a robot system as the ass who stolen my blog contents starting spamming me quite heavily, I will have to stick with it for a little while, please forgive me. Happy New Year to you.

  5. that looks delicious! I actually like how all the vegetables turn into a similar colour because I know then that all the flavours have melded together. a great vegan idea for the post-holiday feasting!

    1. Thank you so much Shu Han, and honestly its so good to hear from you. I feel that I may have lost a lot of readers with lack of blogging due to work commitments. Hope to come by your blog later x

  6. This stew looks so comforting!! I was just trying to explain the wonders of sundried tomatoes to my hubby's brother... :-) your pastry shapes always come out so beautifully!!

  7. Looks great, Shaheen! I've snacked on chestnuts but never cooked with them... and even more intrigued by chestnut mushrooms. Never seen those before!

    1. Thank you Janet. Chestnut mushrooms are darker and a lot more robust in texutre and flavour, so much better than those butter mushrooms.

  8. Thank you so much for your continued kindness and blog-land love!! :-) it is such a blessing to have true blog friends! :-) SmartBalance is just a vegan alternative to butter here in the states, made with olive and canola oils instead of hydrogenated fats, so any equivalent (or coconut oil) would work perfectly... :-)

    1. Oh Astra, you are just too too kind x Thanks for letting me know, I know of plenty of vegan alternatives in the U.K so will have to give this a go for sure, may have to sub the pecans for walnuts though, as pecans are just so darn expensive. Warm wishes x

  9. Hi Shaheen, hope you've been having a lovely festive break and a rest over the hols. I'm really liking the sound of the previous post, a festive burger sounds a wonderful idea.
    Happy new year when it arrives, hope 2013 is a brilliant year for you.
    Sally x

    1. Thank you so much Sally. I am enjoying the break from work, due back next Wed. I thank you so much for the warm wishes for 2013, I also hope its a good year for us, since 2010 to the present things have not been too happy for us, we are due a change of fortune. Happy New Year to you too. x

  10. Chestnuts go well with pinto beans too!
    All the best for 2013


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