Manitaria Stifado - Mushroom and Onion Stew
Greece is mushroom heaven, and one of the places especially known for the variety of wild mushrooms as well as the wealth of cultivated ones is Evia. We visited this wondrous island just an hour from Athens to find a mycologist’s dream, and this Greek recipe for mushroom stew, replete, of course, with extra virgin Greek olive oil, is but one example of the many different ways islanders and others appreciate mushrooms in the kitchen. Stifado is the name given to all stews that call for the small, whole onions that characterize this dish.
- 1 cup dried porcini
- 2 pounds mixed cultivated mushrooms such as cremini, portobellos, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms etc.
- ¼ cup plus 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds small stewing onions peeled and whole
- 2 large bay leaves torn slightly
- 1 - 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons strong red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Mavrodaphne wine
- Salt to taste
- 1 pound egg noodles or Greek hilopites cooked (optional)
Place the dried porcini in a bowl and cover with warm water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
In a large wide pot, heat ¼ cup of the olive oil and add the onions, tossing to coat. Cover and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until the onions are tender, translucent, and caramelized.
While the onions are cooking, clean and trim the fresh mushrooms. Cut the portobellos in half.
Add all the mushrooms except the porcini to the pot. Add the bay leaves, rosemary, and peppercorns. Toss very gently to combine, cover, and simmer, over low heat for another 15 minutes. Add the porcini and their soaking liquid, strained through a coffee filter or fine mesh sieve, the vinegar and wine. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes for flavors to meld and pan juices to reduce and thicken.
While the mushrooms are cooking, bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, season generously with salt, and cook the noodles. Drain.
Serve the mushrooms over the noodles, garnished with chopped parsley.