Our Ultimate Mushroom Sauce
Without a doubt one of our signature sauces, if not ‘the’ signature sauce- this rich and creamy delight is an excellent companion for red meat or chicken dishes. The variety in textures and rich earthy flavours compliment game dishes too, and makes for an excellent risotto topping.
We recommend you use a mixture of wild mushrooms, or exotic mushrooms for the variety of flavours and texture- as opposed to typical button or black mushrooms. Some widely available mushrooms that we like to use, include:
Shiitake (my personal favourite) is native to East Asia. It has a relatively firm, meaty texture and tends not to go soggy when cooked. These delicious mushrooms are a symbol of longevity in Asia, and boasts the following health benefits:
- Support Immune Function
- Fights obesity
- Destroy Cancer Cells
- Support Cardiovascular Health
- Contain Antimicrobial Properties
- Boost Energy and Brain Function
- Provide Vitamin D
- Promote Skin Health
Shimeji are fine fairy-like mushrooms. Buna shimeji or white beech mushrooms are an edible mushroom native to East Asia. These little mushrooms are clustered together and are soft and tender when cooked, and can appear almost stringy in a dish. The flavour is far gentler, than that of e.g. porcini and shiitake. When it comes to health benefits, shimeji mushrooms are packed with:
- Vitamins B1, B6 and B12
- Dietary fibre
- Shimeji also fights tumours and asthma
King oyster or pleurotus eryngii is an edible mushroom native to Mediterranean regions of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. These thick bodied mushrooms are firm and meaty, and won’t lose its meaty texture when cooked. King oyster mushrooms are great for adding texture to your mushroom sauce. Health benefits of these mushrooms include:
- Oyster mushrooms ease tendon tightness and strengthen blood vessel walls.
- They are very rich in iron and can help combat anemia.
Preparation Time: 30-40 minutes
- 250-300 g mixture of your favourite exotic or wild mushrooms *
- ½ cup double cream
- ½ cup mascarpone
- ¼ cup truffle oil/ truffle flavoured oil
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sweet Indonesian soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sweet, thick soy sauce
- 30ml peated whisky **
- Black pepper
- Smoked salt to taste
- Slice and prepare mushrooms, keeping the varieties separate. (Slice oyster and king oyster mushrooms into long, slender strips; Slice shiitake mushrooms into bite sized slices; Separate shimeji into individual mushrooms)
- In a hot pan, fry the king oyster mushrooms in a dash of truffle oil and a teaspoon of butter.
- Tip: Don’t move the mushrooms around in the pan too soon, as they will dehydrate and become soggy and rubbery.
- Once cooked and browned, remove the oyster mushrooms from the heat, and set aside. Now add the shimeji mushrooms to the same heated pan.
- Drizzle some truffle oil over the mushrooms, and once they begin to brown on, start moving them around in the pan. When almost cooked, stir 1 tbsp soy sauce into the mushrooms. Wait for the moisture cook away, and set aside.
- Still using the same sauce pan, add ½ the shiitake mushrooms- remember not to overcrowd the pan, you may have to do more than round if you’re using a small pan. Drizzle the mushrooms with sesame oil, and add some butter if necessary. Once the mushrooms are browned, set aside.
- Add the last of the shitake mushrooms to the saucepan, and drizzle with truffle oil. Once browned, stir sweet Indonesian soy sauce into the mushrooms.
- When most of liquid has evaporated, spoon all the cooked mushrooms back into the saucepan and deglaze the pan with the whisky. If you’re using gas, you can burn the alcohol away. Alternatively, you can simply cook the liquid away. This step will loosen all the flavour and clean the surface of the pan so that none of the delicious flavour goes to waste.
- Turn down the heat, and add the cream and mascarpone to the pan. Let the cream and mascarpone melt away, while gently stirring the mixture.
- Once the mixture forms a creamy sauce add 1 tbsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp sweet, thick soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and gently combine all the ingredients.
- Transfer sauce to a serving dish and serve.
- Can be made in advance.
- Gently heat in a saucepan before use.
This sauce with thicken on standing, and will be quite thick at room temperature. Gently heat the sauce before use, and avoid over heating as the sauce may split when heated to very high temperatures.
* For this recipe we used 150 g shiitake mushrooms, and 120 g king oyster mushrooms, and 2 varieties of shimeji. Each variety is cooked separately to enhance their individual flavour and to avoid over cooking any one of the varieties. The shiitake mushrooms are divided into 2 portions, and cooked separately, with different flavour profiles. Shimeji cooks the fastest, whereas the shiitake and king oyster needs a bit more time.
** Peated whisky has a smoky taste to it. The amount of smokiness in a whisky is determined by how long the barley was exposed peat smoke during the drying process. The peat or smoky taste in whisky can be so low that you barely taste it, or so overwhelming that it tastes like you’re taking a deep breath in a house on fire. Some of our favourite peated or smoky whiskies include Coal Ila; Laphroaig; Lagavulin; Ardbeg; Talisker; Highland Park; Bowmore; Bruichladdich and Compass Box Peat Monster.