Mushroom Ragout with wine, almonds and dried plums
10 extra large Portobello mushrooms, sliced diagonally into slices 1/2 inch thick
Salt and black pepper
Safflower oil and PAM, for frying.
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and smashed
1 cups Concord grape wine (like Manishewitz)
1 cup dry red wine
1 cups pitted prunes
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
4 ounces shiitake, crimini or other mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon
1 star anise
Zest of 1 orange, in strips
1 can condensed chicken stock, and water to cover.
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Season portobello mushrooms with salt and pepper. Place a heavy wide pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add mushroom slices and brown well on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
2. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic and ginger to the pan, and stir until the onions begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add both wines, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.
3. In a large Dutch oven or heavy braising pan, combine 1 cup of the prunes, 1/4 cup almonds, and the chopped mushrooms. In a piece of cheesecloth, tie up 1/4 cup of the parsley with the thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon, clove, star anise and orange zest, and add to the pot. Add the mushroom slices, the vegetable mixture in its reduces wine sauce, and the chicken soup. Add water to cover. Place over high heat to bring to a boil, then transfer to the oven.Cook, covered for another hour.
Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup parsley and 1/4 cup almonds.
Yield:10 to 14 servings.