Most people are used to eating Beef Stifado but this is just as tasty (with the same spices etc) but the meat is replaced with mushrooms. Its best to use a really firm mushroom such as chestnut or portobello so they keep their firmness through the cooking process. I like this served with rice and a little tzatziki on the side!
500g of chestnut mushrooms
1 x cup of pearl onions (hard to get – so if stuck get some small shallots and chop in half)
1/2 x cup of olive oil (more if you prefer)
2 x tins of plum tomatoes (mashed)
2 x ripe tomatoes (chopped) that you might be lurking in the salad tray (good way to use them up)
3/4 x cup red wine
1 x tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 x tsp. dried rosemary
1 x large bay leaf
1 x cinnamon stick
3 x garlic cloves – grated
1 x good squeeze of tomato puree
1 x good squeeze of tomato ketchup (to sweeten if required – tomatoes and wine can be a little bitter)
water if needed
salt & pepper to taste
Clean your mushrooms – I suggest you keep them whole if using chestnut mushrooms. Wipe them with kitchen paper to get any soil off.
Add your olive oil to the pan you are using (quite large) and bring to a medium heat. Cook the onions gently until they start to soften, now add in your clean mushrooms, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay leaf and stir gently.
Now add in your red wine, (take a little sip for quality control purposes!) red wine vinegar and grate in the garlic.
Stir everything and then add in your mashed plum tomatoes (try and get rid of all the lumps) and chopped ripe tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and cinnamon stick. The mushrooms need to be covered by the sauce so add water or wine if needed.
Put the lid on and reduce the heat so the sauce can thicken. You want to gently simmer for about an hour and a half. Whilst I would love to say you could skip off at this point and leave it – you can’t! you will need to check intermittently and make sure the sauce is thickening and adjust liquid levels and seasoning. After and hour and half you should have a thick, aromatic mushroom stew and your kitchen should small very inviting 🙂 Serve with fluffy rice or crusty bread. Nostimo!