Kramer and I love mushrooms. We will order just about anything when we’re out at restaurant if mushrooms are in the dish. We get excited when we see new and interesting mushrooms at the store, and we’ll even take the time on the occasional morning to make mushrooms to eat with eggs for breakfast. There’s nothing quite like buttery, slowly sautéed mushrooms with just a pinch of fresh herbs and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. I can honestly taste them as I’m writing this. So, last weekend, when I was trying to find inspiration for something to cook, a recipe for mushroom ragout caught my eye. The original recipe suggests using a combination of dried porcinis and wild mushrooms, which sounds insanely delicious, but if you aren’t planning on spending $50 on this dish (which, hey, if you feel like it, go nuts), then you can go my route and make a rich, earthy mushroom ragout with shitakes and button mushrooms. There’s nothing wrong with that.
My week in Instagram: The Commodore, coffee and pork rinds.
The original author for this recipe suggests serving this as gravy at Thanksgiving, which sounds genius to me when you take into account how much I adore mushrooms, but there are a variety of uses for this ragout. This recipe makes a decent sized batch, so you could add some red sauce and serve it over pasta, you could simply serve it as a side dish, or use it as a topping for burgers, which I did. I also used it to put together a quick weeknight dinner by halving a delicata squash and stuffing it with this ragout. It was excellent and I highly recommend doing the same. I might even toss it with some cous-cous or add some roasted potatoes for a meal all on its own. Whatever you do with it, a mushroom ragout is a hearty, satisfying alternative or compliment to any meat variation. I’m absolutely going to making this all season long.
Soak the dried mushrooms, then drain and reserve the liquid.
Then gather the rest of what you’ll need.
Saute your onion and garlic quickly, then get to sweating those mushrooms.
Add the flour, then the liquid, reduce and salt to taste.
Add some flaky sea salt and fresh parsley to garnish.
- 1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried mushrooms (I used shitake)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 pounds mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced ½-inch thick if large (I used a combination of button mushrooms and shitake mushrooms)
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- ½ cup wine (I used red wine here, but white is good, too, or even a decent beer if you have it)
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
- Place the dried mushrooms in a pyrex measuring cup or a bowl and pour on 2 cups boiling water. Let them soak for 30 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients, then drain the mushrooms, but save the liquid from soaking to add to the ragout later. Squeeze them over a strainer and rinse until they are free of any sand. Chop coarsely and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet or a wide saucepan and add the shallots or onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, stir together for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add the fresh mushrooms and thyme or oregano. Turn the head up to medium-high. Cook until the mushrooms begin to sweat, then add ½ teaspoon of salt. Stir for about 5 minutes more.
- Add in the flour and continue to cook the mushrooms, stirring, until they have softened a little more and you can no longer see the flour, about 2 minutes. Add in the soaked and reconstituted dried mushrooms and the wine and turn the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the liquid boils down and glazes the mushrooms, about 5 minutes. Stir in the dried mushroom soaking liquid, bring to a simmer, add another ½ teaspoon of salt, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the mushrooms are thoroughly tender and fragrant and the surrounding broth is thick, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the red pepper flakes, freshly ground pepper and the parsley, taste and adjust salt.