Here’s a meaty-tasting,  umami-packed mushroom dish that’s great as a side for steak, a topping for burgers, or as a filling for an omelet.  White button mushrooms are perfect but mix it up with whatever’s fresh. Criminis (baby portobellos), shitakes, and oyster mushrooms are pretty easy to find and a touch of reconstituted dried porcinis or morels really up the ante.  Be sure to buy whole mushrooms that are firm and fresh…the pre-sliced mushrooms tend to be past their prime.

Lighly brown the whole garlic cloves in the rendered bacon fat

Lighly brown the whole garlic cloves in the rendered bacon fat to impart garlic flavor without overpowering the mushrooms.

 Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil – splash
  • 2 ounces slab bacon – cubed, or 3 slices of chopped bacon
  • 3 gloves of garlic – peeled, whole and smashed with back of knife
  • 1.5 lbs assorted fresh mushrooms – sliced thinly (button mushrooms, crimini, shitake, oyster, all work well)
  • 1/2 ounce dried mushrooms – simmered in water to reconstitute (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup Port or Marsala wine
  • 2 pats of butter
  • Fresh parsley, thyme or chives
  • Salt and pepper

    This huge pile of mushrooms will cook down plenty

    This huge pile of mushrooms will reduce plenty. They release a lot of juice at first, but don’t worry about it being too watery…then suck it all back up as they cook down.

Directions

  1. Heat splash of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and render bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon bits from the pan and lightly brown whole garlic cloves for 2-3 minutes to flavor the oil.  Remove and discard garlic.
  2. Add sliced mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes stirring often.   The mushrooms will release a ton of liquid at first but most will evaporate during cooking.   Add reconstituted dried mushrooms if using along with some of the mushroom broth.
  3. Add soy, Worcestershire and Port or Marsala wine and cook down for another 10 minutes or so.  These are the “umami” ingredients that really give the mushrooms and rich, meaty, salty, sweet, and decadent flavor.   If you don’t have Port or Marsala, use red wine.
  4. Taste for salt and season as needed.  The soy and Worcestershire have plenty of salt that will intensify when cooked but mushrooms require a good amount of salt so season liberally.
  5. Once mushrooms are nicely browned and sauce reduce and tightens up, turn off heat and finish with a big pat of butter, ground black pepper and fresh herbs to add color and a brightness of flavor.
  6. Top with crisped bacon bits and serve immediately or reheat in an oven proof dish. They also heat up nicely in the microwave and taste even better the next day as leftovers.

    A nice shot of Port or Marsala wine,  along with the soy and Worcestershire are the secret ingredients in this mushroom saute.

    A nice shot of Port or Marsala wine, along with the soy and Worcestershire are the secret ingredients in this mushroom saute. Notice how much the mushrooms have condensed… 1.5 lbs of fresh mushrooms yields about 3 cups cooked. 

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