We found a recipe for this vegetarian dish in The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook: 100 Down-Home Recipes for the Modern Table, and it tasted great. Unfortunately it took several hours to make. So we decided to make a simplified version, below. Same deep red wine and mushroom taste and texture, but taking a lot less effort.
5 large Portobello caps, cut into large chunks
1/2 c French lentils
12 baby potatoes (thin skin)
1 T corn starch
¼ c parsley, chopped, for garnish
Vegetable bean base:
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 small yellow onions, cut into large chunks, do not separate the chunks
- 7 medium carrots, cut into large chunks
- 6 ribs celery, quartered (cut in half and sliced lengthwise)
- 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
- 5 sprigs of thyme, stems removed
- 2 bay leaves
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1 t sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1 T tomato paste
- 2 Knorr vegetable bullion cubes
- 2 c dry wed wine (pinot noir)
- 3 c water
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the baby potatoes for 25 minutes and allow them to cool.
Prepare the vegetables as described above.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sweat the onions in the oil for 5 minutes.
Add the rest of the Vegetable Bean Base ingredients into the pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 1 hour. Add the french lentils. Continue cooking ½ hr. Monitor occasionally to ensure that there is enough water in the pot to serve as a sauce at the end. Add additional water if needed. After the stew is done cooking, take out the celery stalks and bay leaves.
Liberally season the mushrooms with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 4 T of butter in a very large sauce pan on medium high and sear the mushroom chunks until nicely browned. Remove the mushrooms and put them in the Vegetable Bean Base after cooking has been completed.
Mix the corn starch with 4 T of water to dissolve. Add to the Vegetable Bean Base, stir to combine, and heat the Vegetable Bean Base until the liquid becomes saucy.
With a bottom of a frying pan, smash the baked potatoes hard enough to flatten them. Heat ¼ c of cooking oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the smashed potatoes about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Serve the Vegetable bean sauce over the smashed potatoes. Garnish with parsley.