Photograph by Stephen Kent Johnson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Ayesha Patel


Seitan Bourguignon

Mains from Issue 10 – Winter 2017 – Sin

Historically, having meat on your plate was a marker of affluence. Nowadays though, it can be acquired cheaply and is so widely consumed (according to the USDA Americans ate an average of sixty-one more pounds of meat in 2011 than in 1951) that it’s become a legitimate environmental threat. Our bourguignon stew with a case of meat envy—that’s seitan instead of beef and, ahem, hen of the woods mushrooms—fakes it until it makes it.

serves 4 to 6

  • ½ oz dried porcini mushroom
  • lb cubed seitan, drained
  • cups dry red wine, preferably from Burgundy
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 5 to 6
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    extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ lb hen of the woods mushrooms (maitake)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • ¾ cup pearl onion, thawed if frozen, blanched then peeled if fresh
  • chopped parsley and crusty bread for serving (optional)

  • 1

    Steep the porcini in 1 cup boiling water in a small bowl. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Drain the liquid into a large bowl. Finely chop the porcini and set aside.

  • 2

    Add the seitan, wine, soy sauce, and ½ tsp black pepper into the mushroom liquid. Let stand, covered, at room temperature while proceeding.

  • 3

    Heat 2 Tbsp of oil over medium heat in a large heavy saucepan. Cook the hen of the woods mushrooms in batches, until golden, adding more oil as needed and then sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside.

  • 4

    With at least 1 Tbsp oil in the pan, stir in the chopped onion and carrots and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are lightly browned. Stir in the garlic and porcini and cook, stirring 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer. Add the flour and 1 tsp salt and cook, stirring, 1 minute more.

  • 5

    Drain the seitan and add all the liquid (reserving the seitan) and thyme to the pan, stirring and scraping the bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, 20 minutes.

  • 6

    Add the seitan and pearl onions to the pan and gently simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the hen of the woods and season to taste. Sprinkle with parsley if you like.