I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I’m busy. In two weeks, when I finally leave my beloved second job, I’ll have more spare time that I’ve had in over 2 1/2 years. For now, I’m busy. This means that dinners should be quick and easy or else we’re not eating dinner until 9 o’clock.
It must have been nice to have as much spare time as Julia Child did when she made Beef Bourguignon infamous among housewives everywhere. Oh, to have time time to while away three hours browning beef, simmering sauces and peeling those tiny pearl onions. The first time I made Julia Child’s version I made the mistake of making it during the summer, in New Orleans, in a poorly air-conditioned apartment. By the end I was drunk off of the extra wine and sweating from how much heat had accumulated from having my oven on for so long. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.
I found this recipe shortly after I became obsessed with Smitten Kitchen and its wonderfulness. It’s a shorter version of the French classic and it involves way less chopping. I remember so much chopping in Julia’s version. It took forever. This recipe has all the hearty, savory flavor without all of the hassle. Traditionally it’s served over egg noodles or rice. I used orzo because, let’s face it, it’s rice shaped pasta and that seemed to be the best of both worlds. Feel free to pick your favorite when serving this.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 pounds portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup full-bodied red wine
2 cups vegetable (or beef) broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablesppon dried parsley
1 cup pearl onions, thawed
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Egg noodles, rice, or orzo for serving
Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or a large sauce pan. Add the sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook them, stirring them occasionally, for 3-4 minutes over medium heat until they start to brown. Remove the mushrooms before they start releasing any liquid and set them aside. Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the carrot,thyme and onion. Saute for almost 10 minutes, or until the onion starts to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Turn the heat to medium-high, add the wine, and cook until it has reduced by half. Stir in the broth and tomato paste. Add the mushrooms and any juices they have let go of and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and let the pot simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in the parsley and onions and simmer for 5 more minutes. Mash together the butter and flour with a fork and add it to the pot. Simmer for 10 more minutes. Serve hot over egg noodles, rice, or orzo.