By Chef John Ash
A perfectly rich date-night recipe that can be made ahead of time. Have a glass of Owsley Pinot Noir ready for your sweetheart to sip during this romantic meal.
Total Time 30-40 minutes
Prep Time 5-10 minutes
Difficulty Level Easy
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms softened in warm water
1 lb cremini mushrooms rinsed and halved
1 c pearl onions (thawed if frozen)
2/3 c finely diced celery (save leaves for garnish)
1/2 c chopped shallots
1 tsp dried thyme or Herbs de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1-1/4 c hearty red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 c beef or chicken broth or a browned vegetable stock for vegetarian
1 tbsp corn starch mixed with 3 tbsp water or red wine to make a slurry
Buttered egg noodles for serving
Garnish: celery leaves, crème fraîche and chopped chives if desired
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-sized Dutch oven or a heavy, deep saucepan over high heat. Drain and squeeze porcini and chop roughly reserving the soaking water. Add the porcini, the cremini mushrooms, and pearl onions and cook stirring for 4 minutes or until they begin to take on a little color. Remove mushrooms and onions from the pan and set aside.
Lower the flame to medium and add the remaining olive oil and butter. Add the celery, shallots, thyme along with salt and pepper to your taste and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
Add the reserved soaking water, wine, tomato paste and stock to the pot, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Turn the heat all the way up and boil for 4 minutes to reduce it a bit. Add the reserved mushrooms and pearl onions with any juices that have collected, and bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the temperature to a simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the mushrooms and onions
Whisk in the cornstarch slurry a teaspoon at a time until the stock thickens to your taste. Be careful not to thicken it too much. Adjust seasoning to your taste and serve atop buttered egg noodles garnished with the celery leaves, a dollop of crème fraîche and chopped chives.