This is a vegan take on a classic French dish and is every bit as warm and inviting as the original. The gremolata is optional but highly recommended, as it helps bring a bit of brightness and freshness to the dish. Try serving this over soft polenta, mashed potatoes, brown rice, or pasta.
To avoid leftover tomato paste going bad in the back of the refrigerator, freeze tablespoonfuls in an ice cube tray. Pop out frozen tomato paste pucks and store in an airtight container in the freezer to use as needed.
1 oz (28 g) dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup + 2 Tbsp (280 mL) boiling water, divided
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil, divided
1 lb (450 g) mixed thickly sliced mushrooms, such as crimini or king oyster
1/2 tsp (2 mL) Himalayan salt
8 oz (225 g) purple pearl onions, trimmed and peeled
2 large carrots, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) rutabaga, cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) chunks
1 red bell pepper, trimmed and cut into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) tomato paste
1 cup (250 mL) vegan dry red wine
2 Tbsp (30 mL) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (60 mL) pomegranate seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
Start by making bourguignon. In bowl, stir together dried mushrooms and 1 cup (250 mL) boiling water. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in large saucepan or cast iron pot, warm 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat. Add mixed sliced mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to release some juices, about 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms and any juices to plate and set aside. Place saucepan back over medium heat and add remaining oil. After about 30 seconds add onions, carrot, rutabaga, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, oregano, and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Remove rehydrated mushrooms from steeping liquid and finely chop. Reserve mushroom liquid to use later. Stir them into saucepan along with reserved cooked mushrooms and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes.
Stir wine and mushroom liquid into mushroom mixture before increasing heat to medium high and bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. In small bowl, stir together remaining 2 Tbsp (30 mL) boiling water and flour. Stir flour mixture into pot and cook mixture, stirring often, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
To make Pomegranate Gremolata, stir together all ingredients in small bowl until well combined.
Serve bourguignon while warm, sprinkled with gremolata.