This is one of those ‘little extras’ that totally fancifies a steak dinner (or beef tenderloin) – and you can make it a day or 2 ahead.  I discovered this in a Christmas Menu from Fine cooking, and I also think it would be marvelous on poached eggs and toast – enjoy!

Double Mushroom Ragout

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms AND 1 1/2 c. boiling water

3 T. butter AND 2 T. olive oil

20 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 t. kosher salt

1/3 c. shallot, minced

1/3 c. dry Marsala (or Sherry)

1 T. chopped fresh thyme

3/4 c. cream

2 T. chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Soak the porcini in the hot water for 20-30 minutes until they’re hydrated, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a cutting board and coarsely chop them.  Strain the mushroom water through a coffee filter lined strainer and reserve the liquid.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil in a large skillet, add the cremini and salt and cook for 5-10 minutes at medium heat until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid.  Turn the heat up and continue to cook until the mushrooms are very well browned, about 10 more minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium again, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the Marsala, thyme, chopped porcini and 1/4 c. of the mushroom water – save the rest to help with re-heating if you’re making this ahead.  Cook and stir until most of the liquid is gone, then add in the cream and cook until it’s heated through and as saucy as you’d like.  Stir in the parsley – or save it for garnish – and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

If you’re making this ahead, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a bowl, covering it and putting it into the fridge.  To re-heat, add all back to a skillet at medium-low heat and sprinkle on the reserved mushroom water and/or more cream to bring it back to it’s saucy consistency.

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