So I’ve been living in Pondicherry for 3 years now and this will be the first classic French dish that I have tried making -shame! I ate coq au vin a year ago – well tasted the sauce & veggies from my husband’s plate is more like it since I don’t eat meat, and I remember really liking it a lot. For some strange reason it didn’t occur to me to try the recipe with a vegetarian spin. I guess I had a mind block that this was one of those recipes that worked well only with chicken. Then last week, I tested the recipe and replaced the chicken with potatoes. I prepared the potatoes exactly the way chicken is prepared for this dish and viola – patates au vin was discovered. And guess what – its delicious and vegan friendly.
I was very happy with the taste both times I made the recipe. I couldn’t find any fresh thyme (both times) and had to use the dried version – but I do recommend using fresh thyme for it. You need to dredge the potatoes in some flour because that flour when cooked forms the base of a thick sauce. Also, I seasoned the potatoes with paprika to make up for the smokiness you get from the bacon in the original recipe.
Its a vegetarian recipe so its needs a lot less time to cook – since there is no chicken involved you can skip the step of cooking it in the oven. It cooks up pretty fast. You do need red wine for it though- without that it wont be au vin and would be just be some regular vegetable stew. I used shiraz in my recipe because that’s what I had on hand – it could be technically a wrong choice of wine, but I was happy with how it tasted. If you are confused, just use a dry red wine and you should be golden. Try this recipe and let me know if it excited you as much as it excited me?!
Serving 2 to 3 people
Cooking time 30 minutes
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thick wedges
1 white onion, roughly chopped
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
few sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 cup red dry wine
1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbsp + 1 tsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
salt & pepper
- Season the potato wedges with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Heat olive oil in a deep pan on medium heat.
- Dredge the potato wedges in 1 tbsp flour and fry till they turn golden on all sides. Use tongs to move them around in the pan to avoid breaking the potatoes.
- Remove the potatoes from the pan onto a plate and keep aside.
- In the same pan and oil, add onions and garlic and stir to cook till the onions turn pink.
- Add carrots and mushrooms and continue to cook for a minute.
- Add thyme and some salt and stir. Add the 1 tsp flour and cook for about 30 to 45 seconds.
- Add the potatoes back and stir till everything is coated well with the flour and thyme.
- Add wine and stir. Add the stock and stir till well combined.
- Cover and cook on low for about 12 to 15 minutes. You want the the sauce to thicken up and the vegetables to cook through.
- Taste to adjust seasoning. Serve over rice or with a french baguette.