A Wickedly Delicious Winter Dish Inspired By Julia Child

There are two important reasons to make our veggie* version of Julia Child's classic beef bourguignon stew. First, is the wickedly delicious taste of meaty mushrooms, sauteed to perfection with the creamy addition of our Wild Mushroom olive oil, and buttery Butter olive oil that are much healthier than other fats. Second, it takes less than an hour to make, not the five hours that's called for to make its beef cousin. You will spend a bit of time (10 minutes, max) babysitting your chunky-cut mushrooms to get them beautifully browned and caramelized. You can use wine, of course, but we've made ours with an extra beefy broth*. The secret to meatiness without meat is adding an umami ingredient: tamari (Japanese no-wheat soy sauce). You can use regular soy, too but cut back on salt. If you're using a veggie or mushroom broth, add a bit more tamari. We can promise that Julia Child would have loved our translation of her 60 year old classic.

SERVES: 4 to 6
3 tbsp Wild Mushroom olive oil
4 tbsp Butter olive oil (plus more as needed)
6 to 8 cups various mushrooms (portobello, button, cremini, porcini (as affordable), white button, or oyster cut into 1 to 2 inch chunks, or 1/2 inch slices
6 shallots, cut in half, peeled or pearl onions, peeled; leave ends intact
1 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
1 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 large leek white and light green parts, cut crosswise in 1/2 inch pieces. Thoroughly rinse and dry.  
2 carrots, cut crosswise in 1/4 inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped or 1 tbsp Garlic olive oil
1 tbsp quality tomato paste
2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp Pomegranate dark balsamic or 1 cup red wine
*1-1/2 cups beef broth (For Vegan option use mushroom or vegetable broth); 1 cup extra if using pomegranate balsamic and not red wine 
1 to 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped as garnish
Side Dish: Polenta, quinoa, short pasta (shell or bowtie), mashed or roast potatoes. You can serve more simply with a crusty loaf of bread.

On medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp Butter and 2 tbsp Mushroom olive oils to large Dutch oven. Wipe clean all mushrooms. Cut off tough ends. If you rinse be certain they are completely dry before you add to the pot. [If they are damp they will not brown or caramelize.] Once the oil is hot and glistening add mushrooms and onions being careful not to overlap too much. If necessary you can prepare in two stages using half the oils for each. Cook until the mushrooms and onions are brown on one side before turning to brown on the other. It should take about 3 to 4 minutes per side. There should be little to no liquid left in the pot. This is key to achieving a meaty flavour and texture. [TIP: To peel shallots or onions boil water in small pot. Once at a rolling boil turn off and place onions in water for 1 minute. Remove and easily peel onions.] Remove mushrooms and onions from pot and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium. Add 2 tbsp Butter and 1 tbsp Mushroom olive oil to pot. Once heated, add leeks, carrots and garlic. Add salt and pepper. Cook until ingredients start to soften around 5 minutes. Add sugar, then stir in tomato paste, if using. Once completely covered with paste add flour, completely covering mixture, then cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add broth, balsamic and tamari, scraping the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes until simmering.

Add mushroom and onion mixture, then reduce heat to low. Cook partially covered for 30 to 40 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste.

Prepare side dish of polenta or quinoa according to package directions. Or your favourite mashed or roast potato recipe. Garnish with fresh parsley and a drizzle of Pomegranate balsamic and Mushroom or Garlic olive oil.