Braised Mushrooms


mushroom ragu-4

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braised mushrooms
From Stonesoup
serves 8-10 with pasta

Also known as ‘mushroom’ ragu, I was pleasantly surprised at the hearty, soul warming nature of these mushies. A bonus that the satisfied both my vegetarianism and my urge to braise.

I used a combo of large field mushrooms and portobellos and a few button mushies. Feel free to mix it up with whatever mushrooms you have on hand. Some dried porcini mushrooms would add to the mushroom intensity. It will seem like a large amount of mushies but the cook right down.

If you’re feeding less people you could halve the recipe, but you won’t have any problems using the leftovers. I cooked up some with green lentils to use as the base for a gardner’s pie topped with mash. Delish. Also lovely on toast with eggs for breakfast.

Great with short dried pasta, but also lovely with fresh parpadelle if you’re in the mood for a little pasta making while your mushies cook.

I’ve used smoked tofu here to keep it truly vego, but you could always use some smoky bacon or pancetta.

For vegans, just ditch the butter and use some good extra virgin olive oil at the end for added richness.

100g (3 1/2oz) smoked tofu, diced
2 medium brown onions, peeled & diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
1.5kg (3lb) mixed mushrooms, half thickly sliced, half diced
1 small bunch thyme
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
50g (2oz) butter
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce

Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

Heat a stove top and ovenproof casserole dish or a frying pan over a medium high heat. Add a few tablespoons olive oil and cook tofu until golden brown all over.

Remove tofu and add onion with a little more oil if it looks dry. Cover and cook onion stirring occasionally until the onion is lovely and soft and slightly golden. Add carrots, celery, garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add mushrooms in batches, stirring until they cook down and make space for the rest.

When all the mushies are in, add the browned tofu, thyme, tomatoes, butter and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce. Top with 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer on the stove top then pop in the oven. Cook, uncovered for 2 – 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. It’s ready when the mushies are nice and tender and the liquid has reduced to a lovely saucy consistency.

Taste and season with a little extra soy, salt and pepper if needed.

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