By Angelika Hanna
Inspired by the New York Times Cooking recipe, I describe this dish simply as a delight. It’s sweater weather in food form; a Fall dish in every sense: brown-ish/red-ish in color, earthy and herbaceous in taste, warm and cozy in temperature. It has it all what one desires on a cool Fall day. This is not a fast-to-prepare meal. But it is worth the time, and will it will fill your kitchen with delicious earthy smells. If desired, you could kick this dish up with a tablespoon of brandy, sherry, or Masala; it complements very well the mushrooms and brings out all the flavors even better.
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 min
Total Time: 1 hr 55 min
Yield: 4-6 servings
Cuisine: North American/Canadian/European
Author: Angelika Hanna / Zest4Food
- 2 pounds mixed dried mushrooms (Shitake, Portobello, Chanterelle, Oyster)
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large cooking onion, diced
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 tsp dried sage
- A pinch dried hot red pepper flakes (for some heat)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 small ripe tomatoes, chopped
- All-purpose flour, as needed
- Mushroom broth (from pre-cooked mushrooms)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- Rinse the dried mushrooms, place them in a pot with water.
- Bring to boil. This process will clean and sanitize the dried mushrooms.
- Rinse the hot mushrooms in a sieve under running water again.
- Place the mushrooms in a large pot with fresh water. (Water should be approx. an inch above the mushrooms as the mushrooms will expand when being cooked).
- Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Let simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half with the lid on. (Dried mushrooms are tough and need a long time to cook soft.)
- When the water cooks off (reduces) in the pot, refill with fresh water, so that the mushrooms remain covered.
- After an hour simmer time, check on softness. If the mushrooms are still tough, simmer for another 15-30 min.
- When the mushrooms are soft, turn heat off.
- Remove the mushrooms from the hot burner. Place them in a sieve, letting excess water drain into a pot. Save the mushroom water (it will be used in your stew.)
- In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil over high-medium heat.
- Add onion, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until the onions are soft and brownish, approx. 8 min. Add garlic, cook for about 1 min.
- Remove from frying pan. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tbsp butter or more if required.
- Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the mushrooms until they turn brownish, approx. 3-5 min. over high-medium heat.
- Lower the heat to medium.
- Add the herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage), and the red pepper flakes.
- Add the tomatoes and the tomato paste. Stir well. Cook for 1-2 min.
- Add the onions. Stir well.
- Add 1 cup mushroom water and stir until thickened. If the consistency is too watery, add some flour.
- Gradually add more mushroom water and cook for another few minutes. (The sauce should have a gravy-like consistency.)
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
Serve over pasta, polenta, or just as it is.