This vegan mushroom bourguignon is a modern take on the beefy French bistro classic. Serve with mashed potatoes, creamy polenta, or celeriac puree. (This article has been updated from its original March 2020 version).
If you would’ve told me 10 years ago that I’d be making bourguignon with mushrooms instead of beef, I would’ve laughed.
Before I got into plant-based eating, boeuf bourguignon (the hearty red wine stew, pronounced “boor-GHEE-nyon”) was one of my absolute favorite things. It was my go-to order in French restaurants and my special-occasion meal to make for guests.
I thoroughly enjoyed the series of stovetop steps – browning the beef, sautéing the carrots and onions, then covering the pot’s contents with an entire bottle of wine – followed by the three painfully slow hours of braising in the oven. The richness of the final dish was worth every minute of the involved process.
Now that I don’t cook with meat anymore, I use mushrooms instead of beef and the results are [surprisingly, even to me!] as satisfying as the original – but without the heavy feeling that often follows a meaty meal.
This vegan mushroom bourguignon is rich, saucy, and so comforting. The acidity of the wine is balanced by the sweetness of the carrots, and the umami of seared mushrooms makes it incredibly satisfying.
What’s In This Mushroom Bourguignon
This vegan bourguignon starts with a base of seared mushrooms seasoned with smoked paprika, along with carrots and onions. The browning on the mushrooms is key to forming the foundational flavor of the entire dish, so don’t rush the process (more details below). The paprika adds a smoky, almost charcuterie-like, taste.
The savory depth of the mushrooms is amplified by tomato paste and miso. After all the ingredients are browned, everything simmers with vegetable broth and red wine until the sauce thickens into a rich, luscious stew.
Clean the Mushrooms: Vegan bourguignon can be made with a variety of mushrooms, including cremini, white button, shiitake, maitake, and/or oyster; I recommend using a mix. Avoid portobello – they have too much moisture. Whichever ‘shrooms you choose, do not wash them under the tap.
Mushrooms are like sponges – they absorb water. When you cook washed mushrooms, they release that water and steam instead of browning, which results in an unpleasant gummy texture. Wipe mushrooms with a damp paper towel instead.
Prep the Mushrooms: Chop the mushrooms into large-ish bits – the stew should be chunky. Halve or quarter cremini mushrooms; as for shiitake, maitake, or oyster, tear them into bite-size bits instead of chopping.
Sear the Mushrooms: Heat oil in a large high-sided heavy-bottomed pan (like a Dutch oven) over medium/medium-high heat. Season the ‘shrooms with smoked paprika and cook in 2 batches until they’re browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. (It’s important to cook the mushrooms in batches since overcrowding the pan may also result in a gummy texture.) Don’t salt them yet, since you don’t want to draw out their moisture.
Cook the Carrots and Onions: Remove all the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add the carrots, onions, and thyme, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Next, stir in the garlic and tomato paste, and cook for 30 seconds. Then stir in the flour, which will thicken the sauce later on.
Simmer: Add the wine to the pan and stir to deglaze (pick up the browned bits stuck to the bottom). Then add all the mushrooms back in, along with vegetable broth, miso, salt, and pepper. At this point, you can reduce the heat to a low and cover the pot with a lid, leaving it slightly ajar. Simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy, about 30 minutes, stirring the stew every now and then.
Browning the Mushrooms = The Key to Success
The most important step of mushroom bourguignon is to be patient while the mushrooms are cooking to let them get properly seared (i.e. browned all over). It’s that browning (a.k.a. the Maillard Reaction) that’ll form the foundation of the flavor of the whole dish. Here’s how it’s done…
- Use medium or medium-high heat to cook the mushrooms (step 2 below). You want them to be sizzling and browning gradually (but not burning).
- Do not to overcrowd the pan. If you pack in all the mushrooms at once – instead of in 2 batches, as instructed – they will release all their juices and steam instead of browning.
- Resist the urge to stir too often. You should stir a few times during cooking, but in order to get browned, mushrooms need to make prolonged contact with the hot pan.
This dish is quite saucy, so serve it with whatever you think will soak all that action up nicely. My celeriac puree and this stew are a match made in heaven – I highly recommend making them together.
Making Bourguignon In Advance
Yes, you can make this stew in advance and keep it in the fridge for a few days. It will thicken slightly after it chills, so you may have to add a splash of water/broth while reheating.
More mushrooms this way…
- Creamy Miso Polenta with Red Wine Mushroom Ragù
- 5-Ingredient Creamy Mushroom Soup
- Creamy Mushroom Tartine
- Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms with Spinach and Farro
Vegan mushroom bourguignon is a modern take on the beefy French bistro classic. Serve with celeriac puree, mashed potatoes, or creamy polenta.
- 1 1/2 pounds mixed mushrooms, like cremini, shiitake, oyster, and/or maitake *(see note below)
- About 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 small/medium carrots (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced on a diagonal
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/3-inch-thick half-moons
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or Herbes de Provence
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups mushroom or vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine (like pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, or malbec)*
- 2 tablespoons white miso
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- Minced parsley, for serving
- Quarter cremini mushrooms, and shred shiitake, oyster, and/or maitake mushrooms with your hands into bite-size bits.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven or another large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add half of the mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Sauté until the mushrooms are browned all over, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Take the mushrooms out and set aside. Repeat with the second half of the mushrooms. Then set all the mushrooms aside.
- Add a splash more oil to the pot, if needed, and add the carrots, onion, 1 teaspoon thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the vegetables are starting to soften and caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Stir in 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and cook for about 30 seconds. Incorporate 2 tablespoons flour and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add 1 1/2 cups wine and stir to deglaze the pot. Then add 1 1/2 cups broth, as well as 2 tablespoons miso, lots of pepper, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and all the mushrooms. Cover tightly with a lid and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and gently simmer with the lid ajar until the carrots are softened and the sauce is thick – stirring occasionally – about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Garnish with parsley.
- Do not wash your mushrooms under the tap – they will absorb water and become gummy. Wipe them with a damp paper towel instead.
- Use a wine that you’d enjoy drinking. Never use “cooking wine”.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 180
Keywords: mushroom, bourguignon, french, red wine, vegan