Julia Child might roll over in her grave, being the carnivore and butter lover that she was, but this bourguignon has all the flavour of that beefy, saturated fat classic highlighted in that other Julia’s book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but without the meat or dairy. The key to flavour is not always fat you know – it’s fresh ingredients. Try it and see:
Lentil and Mushroom Bourguignon
(adapted from Spilling the Beans by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan)
(and thanks to my friend, Susan, for giving me the cookbook and for serving this dish at a dinner party)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large portabello mushrooms, sliced (remove the stems and scrape out the gills)
2 to 3 cups sliced button or cremini mushrooms or a combination
1/2 cup cooked French puy lentils (or 1/2 cup canned, rinsed and drained)
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp white flour
2 cups beef flavoured vegetable stock*
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup pearl onions, peeled**
Heat a large, deep skillet over med heat and add the onions. Add a tbsp of water or broth to keep the onions from sticking. Cook for a couple of minutes until onions begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add all the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms begin to release their liquid – you may need to add a tbsp or two of water or broth at first. Cook for 3 or more minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften and cook in their own juices. Add the lentils and the wine and cook for a few more minutes allowing the alcohol in the wine to cook off. Sprinkle the flour over the cooking food and then stir to blend, add the vegetable stock and the tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the sauce is thick and dark. If the sauce is too thick, add some more broth.
In another skillet, heat over medium heat and add the pearl onions. Cook until they start to brown and soften – add a tbsp of water to prevent sticking and burning. Add the onions to the mushroom mixture.
Serve over mashed potatoes.
* I used McCormick All-Vegetable Bouillon Beef Style – it’s pretty high in sodium 😦
** the last time I made this dish I couldn’t find any pearl onions so I used small shallots – worked great!