This dish, based on Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon, is great for when it's cold outside, you're on a budget, and you don't have a lot of time to put dinner on the table. (Check, check, and check.)
I used Smitten Kitchen's recipe, where she substituted Julia's beef for hearty mushrooms. I didn't miss the beef at all, and actually might prefer this version. It takes half an hour to make instead of 3, and you don't run the risk of having tough or dry beef. No skill needed, just a hot pan. Love it.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 pound crimini or baby portobello mushrooms, in 1/4-inch slices
1/2 carrot, finely diced
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef or vegetable broth
1 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/4 teaspoon dried)
3/4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl onions, peeled (thawed if frozen)
Egg noodles, for serving
Sour cream and chopped chives or parsley, for garnish (optional)
Heat one tablespoon olive oil and the butter in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sear until they begin to darken, but not yet release any liquid. Remove them from pan.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the second tablespoon of olive oil. Add the carrots, onions, thyme, some S&P and cook for 10, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for just one more minute.
Add the wine to the pot, scraping any stuck bits off the bottom, then turn the heat all the way up and reduce it by half. Stir in the tomato paste and the broth. Add back the mushrooms with any juices that have collected and once the liquid has boiled, reduce the temperature so it simmers for 20 minutes, or until mushrooms are very tender. Add the pearl onions and simmer for five minutes more.
Combine remaining butter and the flour with a fork until combined; stir it into the stew. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes. If the sauce is too thin, boil it down to reduce to the right consistency. Season to taste.
Serve mushrooms over egg noodles, topped with sour cream and sprinkled with chives or parsley.