It’s January, and we are in the thick of winter. Once Christmas time is over, I usually feel like I’ve had enough of the darkness and the cold and I start to long for sunny days. Paris is relatively mild in the winter, but it’s very gray and I think the lack of sunlight affects me much more than the cold does.
Anyways, I’ve been working on embracing winter, and finding ways to enjoy this season — like energizing walks in the chilly air, cozy nights in, or warm bowls of comfort food. And this dish is perfect dinner for January. It’s full of root vegetables, red wine, and deep flavor.
If you love the movie Julie and Julia as much as I do, then you’ll know all about the French classic Boeuf Bourguignon, which is basically a beef stew with red wine. Here, of course, I omitted the meat in favor of hearty vegetables as well as some lentils. All you need to serve with it is some fresh bread and maybe a green salad, and there you go — a wonderfully wintery meal.
I hope you enjoy, and feel free to let me know what you think down in the comments below !
(Makes about 8 servings)
- 1 red onion
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Salt, to taste
- 3 cups red wine (something dry and more full bodied, I used Bordeaux because that’s what I usually have on hand)
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or a bouillon cube dissolved in warm water)
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 medium carrots
- 3 parsnips
- 1 kg (2 lbs) potatoes
- 500g (1 lb) mushrooms
- 1 cup dry lentils
- Begin by preparing the vegetables. Peel and slice the carrots and parsnips. Chop the potatoes into about 1 inch cubes. Slice the mushrooms. Set aside.
- Chop the red onion and add it to a dutch oven or large pot. Add the olive oil and cook for a few minutes over medium heat until the onions start to look translucent.
- In the meantime, mince the garlic. Then, add it to the onions along with the rosemary, thyme, salt, and a ½ cup of the red wine. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
- Next, add the carrots and parsnips to the pot, along with another cup of the wine, a cup of the broth, and the balsamic vinegar. Place the lid on the pot and simmer over medium high heat for 15 minutes.
- While that’s cooking, prepare the lentils by rinsing them off and adding them to a medium sized pot along with 2 cups of water. Simmer over medium high heat until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
- Once the carrots and parsnips have been cooking for 15 minutes, add the potatoes and mushrooms along with the remaining 1 ½ cup wine and 2 cups broth.
- Let the vegetables simmer over medium heat with the lid on the pot for another 30 minutes or so, until the vegetables are cooked through and softened.
- Add the cooked lentils to the vegetables and stir through.
- Ladle into bowls and serve with some good bread. Bon appetit !