30 November 2010

Busia's Mushrooms

My husband loves mushrooms. We both love bacon. So, this basic Thanksgiving day recipe is one of our favorites. And it’s easy to make.

Another added bonus, since it was a recipe handed down from his departed "Busia", we can remember her on this special day.  My husband in fact, does not get excited about Thanksgiving until he walks into the house a couple of days prior when I am cooking this dish, and says "Now, it smells like Thanksgiving in here!" and proceeds to steal a few mushrooms from the pot when I am not looking. 

One quick note, this recipe is best made one to two days prior to serving.

Mushrooms (I buy at least 10 lbs worth but you don’t need that many)
Thick Cut Good Bacon
Sweet Onion

Clean your mushrooms. Cut any larger mushrooms in half to allow them to cook in same time as the smaller mushrooms and allow them to soften up more as well.

Slice up the bacon into small pieces and cook in a large pot until all the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon bits with a slotted spoon and keep to the side for later.

Carmelize diced onions in some of the bacon fat in another pot.

Add the mushrooms to the bacon fat. Close lid and cook on low flame for however many hours it takes until the mushrooms have released their water and then the water has been cooked until almost completely gone (or if you have the patience, cook until the water is completely gone), stirring occasionally.

Once this has been done, stir in the bacon bits and carmelized onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Let it sit in the refrigerator one to two days prior to serving so that the flavors all blend together.

If you are interested in cooking down the liquids, there are some tips you can use:

One, as soon as the mushrooms have begun heating up enough to start releasing the water, crack the lid. This allows the steam to come out. I take the lid off as soon as all the liquid is released from the mushrooms.

Also, once the mushrooms are a beautiful dark brown color and have shrunk considerably in size, I remove at least half of them to the side. This way, the liquid cooks down faster. Then, I mix all the mushrooms back together again. I did not do this one year and I was cooking mushrooms from 8 am until 9 pm and the liquid still had not reduced by much. The following morning, I tried this trick and it worked within an hour.

Last, you can use a little of the liquid to add into other dishes for added flavor, such as soups, sauerkraut, etc.

This recipe is so beautiful, I couldn’t help but take several photos. Mushrooms are so gorgeous to look at. I use Button whites with some Criminis mixed in. You can use Crimini Mushrooms or Button Whites or , if you feel adventurous, any wild mushrooms you pick in the forests that are safe to eat. Of course, if you do decide to go Mushroom picking, you must be extremely careful, bring a guide who is very knowledgeable in the subject, and perhaps even a mushroom picking guide complete with color photos.


Related Posts:

My Meatless Golabki

Mushroom Soup or Zupa Pieczarkowa

Mushroom Picking in the Polish Mountains

My Mushroom Sour Cream Sauce

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Louise Marie said...

Thank you, thank you......some of my favorites: mushrooms and bacon!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not a big on mushrooms. I like them, but I know how to prepare only one kind - "pieczarki". My dad used pick mushrooms when I was a kid but it's a very blurry memory and I barely can recall it. I bet my mom has plenty of recipes how to make them, but since me and my husband are not big mushrooms eaters I do not feel the need to ask her for them. Your recipe sounds delicious, thought.