When it’s cold outside, a rich, comforting stew hits the spot. In my pre-plant-based days, I would have a meaty stew going in the slow cooker all day, the aromas tantalising us until dinner time. But now, with plants only, these stews tend not to be quite the same. Tasty of course, but just not quite as deep and complex.
However, this beef-less bourguignon recipe has all the richness and complexity of flavour but with the added benefits of nutritious and gut-loving whole plants.
I use mushroom as the main meat replacement, but I know many of you out there either can’t tolerate these fabulous fungi, or just don’t like them. Which is fair enough :). Radish, either whole or halved, make a great alternative, or you could use a meat replacement if that’s your thing.
Radishes are surprising tasty when cooked. We use them in curries, stews and even soup. They keep their shape and texture when cooked so don’t go all mushy. Texture is a common issue for people changing to a plant-based diet. If you’re one of those people, radish could just be the magic ingredient you need!
I’ve also added in a few black beans to the recipe, to add some plant-based protein, extra fibre plus the wonderful phytonutrients which are found in the skins. Not really black but a very deep purple, these tiny little compounds support cell health in a multitude of ways. Dr Gregor (of the How Not To Die books) raves about black beans, saying they’re the best beans to eat due to their high anti-oxidant level that can reduce the risk of many cancers.
There’s a lot of body-loving amazingness in a tin of black beans; I’ll write another blog post about them soon as I have a seriously delicious soup recipe to share). If you want to eat them right now and are not making this bourguignon recipe, then try these delicious black bean and sweet potato burgers – doubly awesome as they have nutrient dense sweet potatoes too!
If you’re going for mushroom bourguignon, the type of mushroom you use is entirely up to you. Little button ones are fun as they don’t need chopping and again add texture. My favourite are chestnut mushrooms cut into largish chunks although a box of field mushrooms which sometimes appear in the supermarkets are good too.
I like to keep the carrots chunky for this stew – once peeled I cut them at an angle so their more triangular. Don’t know why – maybe I’m trying to be too posh 🙂
Red wine is of course a key ingredient to a bourguignon; the very name means of the Burgundy region, which of course is known for its splendid wine. However, if you are alcohol-free or cannot tolerate wine, then you can leave it out. Sadly, the flavour won’t be as rich, but there are a couple of things you can do to enhance the umami flavour. If you’re ok with miso, add a little of this (for me personally, this is a complete no-no but of course not everyone has the same odd intolerances that I do!). Or, just add another tablespoon of tamari with a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly if you have it.
This is a great weekend dish to share with the family or friends. Serve with lashings of creamy mashed potato and some greens on the side. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do – let me know how you get on.
- 1/2 medium red or white onion or 5 shallots
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 200 grams mushrooms or radish if using
- 1 tbsp tamari or coconut amines
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 150 ml red wine check it's vegan
- 150 ml vegetable stock or bouillon
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
- 150 grams black beans optional
- 1 teaspoon cornflour or tapioca or arrowroot
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the vegetables
- If using an onion, chop into largish pieces. If using shallots, peel and leave whole if super small or cut in half/quarter depending on the size. Peel carrots and cut into triangular chunks. Wipe mushrooms and trim as need. Cut into halves or quarters depending on their size or leave whole if little button mushrooms. If using radish, top and tail. Leave whole if small or cut in half if larger. Peel garlic and grate.
Make the bourguignon
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of water in the base of a large pan. Add the onion or shallots, carrots and bay leaf along with a pinch of salt. Cover the pan with the lid and sweat on a medium/low heat for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure the veggies don't stick to the pan (add more water if they do).
- Add the mushrooms or radish plus the grated garlic. Stir well and continue to sweat with the lid on for another 5 minutes.
- Mix the tamari, tomato purée and stock together in a small jug.
- Once the veg have started to soften, take off the lid and turn up the heat. Pour in the wine and let it bubble for 2 minutes before pouring in the stock mix. Add the paprika, thyme and dried garlic. Stir well.
- Pop on the lid, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the black beans and cook for another 5 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
- To thicken the sauce and make glossy, transfer 3 tablespoons of sauce from the pan to a small bowl. Add the cornflour and mix well to a paste. Return the paste to the pan and stir well. Keep stirring gently as the mix simmers for another couple of minutes - it will thicken up nicely.
- Turn off the heat. Leave to rest for a few minutes. Remove the bay leaf.
- Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with mash potatoes and green veg.