As an accompaniment to steak or burgers, I used to fry my mushrooms in a large pan. I did it that way for years. The problem is that it’s a giant pain. You have to fry the mushrooms in batches. They take a long time to get right in the pan: you don’t want them soggy or wet, you want them crispy and almost caramelised. Then you need to let them rest whilst you cook your main course. Problem? Keeping them in a warm pan can dry them out if you’re timing is off with the main course.
It occurred to me about a year ago that I might be able to roast them in the oven and get close to the same results as frying. I was right. There are some recipes out there that gave me a start. After some trial and error, this is what I came up with.
- 250g of mushrooms
- Three tablespoons of butter
- Four garlic cloves peeled and crushed (a generous sprinkling of garlic powder can work too)
- Pinch of sea salt
- Sprinkling of black pepper
- Teaspoon of thyme (I think dried works better here)
- Pre-heat the oven to 250 °C.
- Wash and pat dry your mushrooms.
- Slice or quarter mushrooms as you prefer.
- Put two tablespoons of butter in a roasting pan and place in the oven for a minute or two (this is to melt the butter).
- Take pan out of the oven, throw the mushrooms and crushed garlic in and stir them around to cover them in butter.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Bake mushrooms in the over for about twenty minutes. When you take them out, you will find they have sweated out a lot of “mushroomy” liquid. Spoon this out. Don’t throw this juice away.
- Put the last tablespoon of butter into the pan along with the thyme. Stir again making sure you cover the mushrooms in butter and thyme.
- Bake for a further twenty or thirty minutes stirring occasionally.
- Chef’s tip: the juices that initially come out of the pan taste wonderful. I tend to drink it with a spoon (cook’s privilege!), but you can use this as the base for a sauce. In fact, writing this recipe has got me thinking. Why not combine the liquid with a tablespoon of butter and a pinch of thyme in a sauce pan, whisk it up under medium heat and then pour over the steak? Boom!