My buddy, the librarian at school raises mushroom and today I found 4 beautiful, large portobello mushrooms on my desk. Tonight I made a mushroom stew, using a recipe made famous by Roxx Tavern and Diner in Atlanta. It turned out wonderful and will be even more spectacular tomorrow when the ingredients have time to meld. Served with homemade parsleyed noodles or tortelini- oh YEAH!

6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound rutabagas, cut into large dice (I used turnips but will use rutabagas when I find them)
1/2 pound parsnips, cut into large dice
1/2 pound carrots, cut into large dice
1/2 pound shallots, halved
2 1/2 pounds portobello mushroom caps, quartered (took all my mushrooms caps)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary (I used fresh and 2 1/2 tsp)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme  (I used fresh- same amount)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons red wine  (merlot)
1 (16-ounce) can crushed tomatoes  (I used fresh Roma tomatoes whizzed in the Cuisanart)
2 cups mushroom stock (See Recipe Below)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For Mushroom Stock:
Makes 1 quart
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
6 ounces portobello mushroom stems
1 unpeeled carrot, sliced
1 small leek, cut lengthwise (no such thing as a small leek- I used 1 large leek greens and all)
1 unpeeled small white onion, coarsely chopped (omit if using one large leek)
1 rib celery, sliced
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
1 sprig parsley (uped this to 5 )
1/2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme (3 springs of fresh)
6 cups water

Instructions:

            In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the rutabagas, parsnips, carrots and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and caramelized, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the wine, and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the tomatoes and mushroom stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the water and flour. Stir into stew and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Serve at once or cool to room temperature and refrigerate.To prepare mushroom stock:
In a small stockpot or Dutch oven, combine the mushroom stems, carrot, leek, onion, celery, garlic, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and thyme. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat low enough to maintain a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 1 hour, or until reduced by 1/3 to yield 4 cups.
Set aside 2 cups for the mushroom stew and reserve the rest for another use.

MOLLY NOTE:

This stew was one of the most savory things I’ve ever made. Was unreal good the second day!

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