Wild Mushroom Stew
A Mushroom Festival
This fungi festival is an umami-rich, luxurious way to prepare mushrooms. You start with a generous portion of pancetta, add garlic, onions, celery and carrots, a variety of commercial and wild mushrooms, a half bottle of red wine, and oh my goodness you are really on to something great. Serve it over polenta stirred with four different cheeses, and this is as good as it gets.
Wild and Domestic Mushrooms
Depending on your budget, use a combination of wild and domestic mushrooms. I have used chanterelles, porcini, shitake, crimini, portabella, porcini, morels, and button mushrooms when I am economizing. Use a combination of three or four varieties. I add dried porcini or other dried wild mushrooms for extra flavor and depth, at a fraction of the cost of fresh wild mushrooms.
Dean & Deluca
This recipe comes from the 2002 edition of Dean & Deluca The Food and Wine Book. Dean & Deluca was a pioneer in foodie groceries, opening their first store way back in 1977. Today we have many many great food purveyors, but we have to give credit to Dean & Deluca for introducing American home cooks to ingredients we take for granted today. Dean & Deluca was the first to sell balsamic vinegar, sun dried tomatoes, dried mushrooms and radicchio to home cooks in the U.S. In my younger years Dean & Deluca was always a must-stop whenever I had the good fortune to visit or travel for business to NYC.
I like to serve on top of Four Cheese Polenta with a handful of arugula.
Wild mushroom stew
Yield 4 servings
Umami-rich fungi festival, this mushroom stew is earthy, tender and oh-so-good. Serve it on top Four-cheese polenta and you have a mouthwatering meal.
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 1/2 pound pancetta cut into 1/2" slices and then cubed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 t dried thyme
- 1.5 pound mixed wild and domestic mushrooms, cut into 3/4" chunks
- 1 stalk celery, peeled and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/4" pieces
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 T butter
- 2 T flour
- 4 handfuls of arugula
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to steep until soft, 15- 30 minutes. Strain the mushrooms and liquid through a coffee filter and retain the liquid. Roughly chop the mushrooms and set aside.
- Whirl the garlic cloves in a food processor. Add the onion and pulse until coarsely chopped. Do not over process or you will have onion juice.
- In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, cook the pancetta over medium heat until it begins to crisp. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel.
- Pour off residual oil, retaining about 1.5 tablespoons. Add garlic, onions and saute until soft and beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes. Add thyme and reconstituted dried mushrooms. Saute for another two minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add celery and carrots, chicken stock, wine, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- While the stew is cooking, make a roux in a separate sauce pan. Melt the butter over medium heat, whisk in the flour, stirring until the mixture browns and thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir the roux into the stew and continue to cook for a few more minutes until the stew has begun to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to sit covered for 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Serve over polenta with a handful of arugula. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH