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 mushroom variety (shiitake or portobello)
- 1 pound pearl onions (frozen work fine)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 cups spicy V8 juice
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 medium tomato, diced (or a 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes)
- 1 10 oounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 5 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tablespoons pickling spice
- Water, if needed
- 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. If using fresh pearl onions: use a pairing knife to trim the stem ends and peel away the skins. Slice the garlic and set aside.
- Cut a thick 4” square of cheesecloth and pour the pickling spice into the middle. Tightly tie together cheesecloth with twine. This is your spice bag you’ll remove later so you don’t get chunks of spice into your stew.
- Place a pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and sauté the onions (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and mushrooms, and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the wine and when the liquid has mostly evaporated, add the V8 juice, diced tomato, tomato sauce, cinnamon stick, oregano, and pickling spice bag. The stew should be covered with liquid, so add more wine or water if it is not.
- Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer the stew slowly. This will take about 1 ½ hours. Be sure to stir the pot occasionally, and season to taste.
- Cook until mushrooms and onions are tender and the sauce has thickened. Remove the spice bag.
- Garnish with oregano and serve with sliced bread.