The nights are drawing in and I can now feel autumn in the air in the early morning and evenings. I start to dream of comfort food and to me this is one of the ultimate. It is healthy, low fat and totally filling. Serve with mash potato, jacket potato, or lots of steamed veggies…….. this recipe serves 4.
10g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 vegetable stock cube
240ml red wine
1 sprig fresh rosemary
3 fresh sprigs thyme
2 fresh or dried bay leaves
½ tsp coarse salt, adjust to taste
750 g mushrooms
4 tsp cornflour, to thicken
6 cavolo nero leaves, chopped (optional)
black pepper, to taste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar, to taste
chopped parsley, to decorate (optional)
Rinse the porcini mushrooms as they often have grit in them, then cover in a small bowl with approx 300ml of boiling water to create an excellent stock and soften the mushrooms.
Chop the fresh mushrooms into thick slices.
In a heavy bottom pan heat the olive oil then gently fry the chopped onion until slightly caramelised, then add the garlic and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the chopped mushrooms, carrots and celery, continue to fry on a low heat, if the pan gets dry add a couple of tablespoons of the porcini stock.
Add the tomato puree the stock cube, wine and the rest of the porcini stock (approx 300ml in total) add the fresh herbs and season to taste. Chop the rehydrated porcini and add to the stew.
Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for another 30 minutes until all the veggies are cooked through.
In a small bowl mix the cornflour with 2 tbsp of water stir and add to the stew to thicken. Let the stew continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the chopped kale leaves in the final minutes of cooking.
Check the seasoning and add two teaspoons of balsamic vinegar.