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
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
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
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.