November 29, 2023

mushroom ragout

mushroom ragout
mushroom ragout

Consider this mushroom recipe a project for a weekend or a lazy afternoon. It requires quite a bit of precise, repetitive chopping. You can chop the mushrooms in a food processor, but do so in small batches and keep the chop slightly coarse. If you pulse them for too long they will turn into paste. The goal is to break up the mushrooms to a consistency similar to minced meat. It shouldn’t be shredded, but end up in small but irregular pieces. The result of all the chopping and slow cooking is a delicious, hearty Bolognese-style umami ragu. For a change, I like a combination of mushrooms in the ragu. I usually use maitake, shiitake, and oysters, which is 910g, but I’ve also made it with 2lbs of cremini mushrooms and it’s absolutely delicious. Use whatever you prefer or can easily find in whatever combination you like. The ragu tastes even better on the second day. I recommend serving it over polenta or pasta and garnishing with finely grated pecorino or parmesan.

4 liters

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).

  2. In a Dutch oven, heat 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil over low heat. When the butter has melted, prepare the soffritto (the vegetable base): add the celery, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, salt and pepper and increase the heat to medium. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent but not browned, about 15 minutes (everything should be soft and mushy).

  3. Add the colatura and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil and stir until incorporated. Add the chopped fresh mushrooms and mushroom powder and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow the mushrooms to release moisture. Add the wine and stock and cook until the sauce has reduced, about 5 minutes.

  4. Add the mashed tomatoes, heavy cream, milk, oregano, nutritional yeast, and chili. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the ragout has reduced and darkened.

  5. Add salt to taste. If you make it ahead of time, let it cool completely before transferring to jars or other storage containers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.