Mushrooms are the wonder-fungus of the culinary world.  In honor of National Mushroom Day I’m mixing up a flavorful mushroom ragout.

Our little fungal friends offer such great flavor and texture to dishes.  They are dense and hearty enough to pass for meat substitutes for vegetarians and absorb flavors from liquids and herbs.  There are many varieties and each has its own unique and layer flavor.

A ragout is typically a dish of finely cut meat stewed with vegetables.  In this version I’m replacing the meat with mushrooms.  To maximize the flavors I’m going to add cream back in and reduce it.

Check out how easy this recipe is in the video below:

Mushroom Ragout:

  • 2 tblspn rendered bacon fat
  • 1 cup of diced shallots
  • 2 tblspn minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 2 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 cup stemmed and sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced oyster mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced chantrelles
  • 1/2 cup sliced trumpet mushrooms
  • 1 tblspn tomato paste
  • 1 tspn vegetable ash (toasted chives, black pepper and salt, pulverized)
  • 1 cup barrel aged Belgian ale
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced thyme
  • 1/4 cup minced rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a skillet over high heat, melt rendered bacon fat.
  2. Saute shallots, garlic and bell pepper until softened.
  3. Start with the densest, thickest mushrooms first and add them to the skillet.  Stir to coat with fat and continue adding mushrooms, saving the lightest, most delicate mushrooms until the end.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir.
  5. Add the Belgian ale and stir.  Reduce heat to medium and allow the mushrooms to absorb the liquid.  Add in the bay leaf.
  6. When pan is almost dry of liquid, add vegetable ash and cream.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Then reduce to a simmer.  Let cream reduce until mushrooms are almost dry again.
  7. Add thyme and rosemary and stir.  Remove from heat and use as a topping for polenta, pasta, or rice.

Serve as part of an amazing dish with asparagus tips and bacon lardon and roasted chicken over fettuccine pasta.


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