Sometimes you just need an all-out French food extravaganza . . .

Our version of the French classic beouf bourguignon is made vegetarian with mushrooms and a very “beefy” broth consisting of red wine and porcini mushrooms. We serve the dish over some crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside smashed fingerling potatoes.

The bourguignon does have a few steps but is actually simple to make. Set some time aside on a weekend day to make this vegetarian version of a comfort food classic. It’s shockingly full of flavor, and even the leftovers are great.

Porcini + Portobello Mushroom Bourguignon over Smashed Potatoes


For the Mushroom Bourguignon:

15 to 20 pearl onions
5 large portobello mushroom caps, cut into large chunks
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or butter), divided
5 large carrots, cut into large chunks
1/3 cup French lentils
Porcini Mushroom Broth (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
12 Smashed New Potatoes (recipe follows)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (to garnish)

For the Porcini Mushroom Broth:

1 medium white onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium carrots
6 ribs celery
1 ounce dried portobello mushrooms
1 cup loose-packed fresh parsley
6 sprigs fresh thyme
Juice of 1 lemon
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine (like Burgundy)
3 cups water

For the Smashed New Potatoes:

12 medium new potatoes
1/4 cup canola oil (or olive oil)
Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper (to taste)

Serves 4


For the Mushroom Bourguignon:

Toss the onions onto a hot gas grill or grill pan until the outer skin of the onions is nice and charred on all sides; this should take only a few minutes per side. Remove the onions and place them into a covered container to cool. Once cooled, the onions will slip right out of their charred skins.

Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the two tablespoons of butter or oil and then sear the mushroom chunks until nicely browned.(This is best done in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan.) Remove the mushrooms and set aside in the fridge; you will add them back into the pot later.

Add the carrots and onions to the pot. Once they begin to brown, add the lentils and enough of the Porcini Mushroom Broth to cover. Stir. Put a lid on it and reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the vegetables from the broth and set aside with the mushrooms.

Crank the heat up to high to reduce the broth by one-third. Remove the reduced broth from the pot and set it aside in a heat-proof bowl. Check the broth for seasoning and adjust if needed. Add the flour and remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot. Allow the mixture to cook until nutty and fragrant. Add the broth back into the pot with the roux. Mix with a whisk to work out any lumps. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. The sauce should look velvety and slightly thick.

Add the mushrooms and vegetables back to the pot and coat them with the velvety sauce. Bring everything up to temperature just before serving. Serve over the Smashed Potatoes and garnish with parsley.

For the Porcini Mushroom Broth:

Process the onion in a food processor until it’s finely chopped. In a stock pot over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and then sweat the onions in the oil until they are translucent. Process the carrots and celery in the same way and add them to the pot. Add the dried mushrooms along with the parsley, thyme, lemon juice, bay leaves, sugar, salt, tomato paste, red wine, and water to the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover, and allow the mixture to cook for 25 minutes. Strain out all of the vegetables and discard them. Return the stock to the stovetop with the heat on high and reduce by about a third. (Makes 2 1/2 to 3 cups.)

For the Smashed New Potatoes:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the new potatoes for 20 minutes. Remove them and allow them to cool. With the bottom of a frying pan, smash the potatoes hard enough to flatten them. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 10-inch frying pan and then pan-fry the smashed potatoes about 3 minutes per side. You just need to crisp the outside since the potato is already cooked through. Remove the potatoes from the oil and drain them on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.