My whole life, I’ve randomly craved a specific food or cuisine that eventually led to weeks of indulgence in it. A couple of years ago I went complete left field of Greek cuisine and made stir-fry every other day. Another time it was protein pancakes. Now it’s mushroom everything. Whenever I dine I order a mushroom omelet or mushroom burger, and at least once a week I’ll whip up a quick dinner of mushrooms, onions, garlic, olive oil and wine. It’s simple, tasty, and any leftover wine is always put to good use for drinking.
Being mushroom obsessed, I began searching for different ways to cook the fleshy fungus, with a Greek style. That’s when I found a great recipe on “The Greek Vegan,” a blog by Kiki Vagianos that’s dedicated to sharing healthy Greek vegan recipes. Her MUSHROOM STIFADO it inspired me to make my own version. I couldn’t believe I had never thought to substitute mushrooms for the meat. Now those long days of fasting from meat will be much easier.
My recipe for mushroom stifado is the same one I use for beef stifado, except I increase the main ingredient because mushrooms shrink as they cook. You can try any combination of mushroom types that you prefer. All I suggest is grabbing some fresh psomi (bread) to fully enjoy the rich, earthy stifado sauce.
- 1 ½ pounds mushrooms, any variety (shiitake or portobello are great)
- 1 pound pearl onions
- ¾ cup olive oil
- 2 cups spicy tomato juice
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced (or a 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes)
- 1 (10-ounce) can of tomato sauce
- 3-4 tablespoons dried oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 tablespoons pickling spice
- Fresh oregano or parsley for garnish
- Water, if needed
- Cheesecloth and twine for the pickling spices
- To prepare, clean the mushrooms by lightly brushing the tops with a damp towel. If using portobello mushrooms or larger shiitake mushrooms, cut into halves or quarters. Use a paring knife to trim the stem ends and peel away the skins from the pearl onions. Slice the garlic and set aside.
- Cut a thick 4” square of cheesecloth, pour the pickling spice into the middle of the cheesecloth, fold the corners and tightly tie together with twine. This is your spice bag. You’ll remove it later.
- Place a pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and season lightly with salt, pepper and oregano.
- Add the wine, onions and garlic.
- Add spicy tomato juice, diced tomato, and tomato sauce, cinnamon stick, more oregano, and the spice bag to the pot. The stew should be covered with liquid, so add more oil, wine or water if needed.
- Cover pot, reduce the heat and simmer the stew slowly for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Be sure to stir the pot occasionally and continually season to taste.
- Cook until mushrooms and onions are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove the spice bag.
- Garnish with fresh oregano and serve.