Heavenly Mushroom Ragout

I was so surprised and annoyed to learn that my mushroom ragout recipe didn’t transfer from my old blog to this current one. A reader pointed it out to me, and Nicole, I am so grateful to you! Republishing this recipe is a no brainer – it’s one of the greatest, most versatile recipes in my repertoire. This Madeira scented mushroom ragout is going to send you to fungi heaven.

And don’t tell me there isn’t such a place. After all, I don’t rain on YOUR religious parades.

 Mushroom Ragout

2010-09-07 mushroom sauce


1 lb.cleaned and roughly chopped assorted mushrooms (these are chanterelle(silky and mild), bluefoot(woodsy and meaty), and that classic favorite button

2 tbsp. butter

1 small onion, diced

1/3 cup Madeira or Marsala

3 sprigs thyme

1 glug Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

1. Sautee the onion in the butter over medium low heat until the onions are tender and have JUST started to turn golden brown. You don’t want to fry them into action, you want to seduce them into submission.

2. Add the mushrooms.

The mixture will cook for about 35 minutes. This process simply can’t be rushed. This is how long it takes for the mushrooms to gently soften and release their moisture and for the onions to become jammy and sweet.

Don’t be impatient here. A tough, undercooked bluefoot mushroom is the worst thing in the world.

Well, besides leprosy. 

Those are the two worst things in the world.

3. Now, add the thyme leaves, Worcestershire sauce, and wine. Cook for about 15 minutes or so, until the mixture has further reduced and the smell is intoxicating.

4. Taste for seasonings and serve

This is such a fulfilling meal. Meaty, savory, herby from the thyme, rich from the wine, and comforting but not at all heavy. I love it with a dollop of sour cream stirred in at the end, making in velvety and creamy. You can serve this in so many ways, including…

-with Parmesan over polenta

-with poached eggs and toast

-with chicken and mashed potatoes

-over rare steak

-with a spoon and a hunk of bread, standing over a pot and praying no one comes in and expects you to share

It’s vegetarian(if you use vegetarian Worcestershire sauce), it’s simple to make, and though it’s a little pricey, it’s a great show-off dish for a dinner party.

Toldja heaven existed.