Sunday, 11 May 2014

Creamy mushroom-Guinness ragout

This is the kind of recipe where when I taste it I think to myself in my humble way, "Gee, Shaun. You might just be a genius." The flavour is rich and complex and it's a stick-to-your-bones sort of meal. I highly recommend you try it. It's the best thing I've made in a while!

I served mine over some pan-fried store-bought polenta. If you're more ambitious than I am you could make your own polenta . It could also be good over pasta, or with bread or potatoes on the side.

Depending if you're vegetarian or how strict a vegetarian you are, you might not want to use Guinness. Or maybe you might just prefer another type of beer. I'm sure another type of dark beer would work just as well as Guinness in this recipe. I personally don't even like Guinness that much, but I had some left over from making Chocolate Covered Katie's Double Chocolate Guinness Brownies. The brownies, incidentally, are delicious and I highly recommend them. They're very moist and rich. I think this ragout would be good, but would also have quite a different flavour, if you used red or white wine in place of the beer.

Chop that garlic!

The onions sauteing with the dried herbs.

The mushroom-onion-beer mixture is simmering happily.

It tastes as deliciously creamy as it looks!

Recipe: Creamy mushroom-Guinness ragout
Serves 3-4 people

-2 cups chopped white mushrooms
-1 chopped large yellow onion
-1 cup of firm tofu, cut into 1 cm cubes
-1/2 cup raw cashews soaked overnight in 1/2 cup water
-3 minced garlic cloves
-1 tbs soy sauce
-3 tbs olive oil
-1 cup Guinness beer (or other dark beer)
-1 tbs cornstarch
-1 tsp dried sage
-1 tsp dried rosemary
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large pan. Once it is hot add the onion. Add the sage and rosemary. Saute the onion until it is translucent  (5-10 minutes).

2. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and soy sauce to the pan. Allow the mushrooms to cook until they are soft and tender (5-10 min).

3. Add the Guinness beer and 1 cup of water.

4. Allow the Guinness and mushroom mixture to reduce while heating the remaining 1 tbs of olive oil in another pan. Fry the tofu cubes in the oil until they are lightly browned (10 min).

5. Add the browned tofu into the Guinness and mushroom mixture and stir together.

6. Blend together the soaked cashews with their soaking water, using a high-speed blender or immersion blender, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. This is the "cashew cream". Mix the cream into the ragout.

7. Remove about 1/2 cup of the liquid of the ragout and place in a bowl. Add the cornstarch to the liquid and mix thoroughly. Add the cornstarch mixture back into the ragout and stir thoroughly and immediately. This will thicken the liquid of the ragout.

8. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Enjoy!

I literally licked my plate clean because I'm a disgusting human being.

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