Browned Butter Mushroom Sauce

This recipe has evolved since I first concocted it.  Originally, I didn’t use the brown butter, garlic, toasted pine nuts, or the bacon lardons but each time I made the recipe I added another item I felt would benefit the final dish.  Feel free to experiment with this by adding or taking away as you see fit.

Here are some of the ways I have used this sauce:  Over steaks, stuffed in chicken breasts, over homemade pasta or rice, or over toasted bread as an appetizer.  This is a very versatile dish and the sky is the limit on its uses.  Please let me know of ideas you come up with for its use.

The recipe calls for an assortment of mushrooms.  You can use just white button mushrooms but if you have a grocer who stocks an assortment, experiment.  We love Lions Beard, Chanterelle, Oyster, Blue, Alba Clamshell, Brown Clamshell, Forest Nameko, Velvet Pioppini, Maitake Frondosa, etc.

pasta with mushroom sauce

Browned Butter Mushroom Sauce – Serves 4-6

2.5 lbs assorted mushrooms (cleaned and cut into bite size pieces)

3 T olive oil (more as needed)

1 medium to large shallot (finely chopped)

4 large or 6 medium garlic cloves (finely minced)

3/4 c white wine

4 T Italian Flat Leaf Parsley (finely chopped) don’t use curly leaf, the flavor will not be the same.

1 T dried or 3 T fresh thyme

3 T fresh lemon juice

4 slices bacon (cut into lardons and browned)

1 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1/2 c pine nuts (toasted)

3 oz browned butter

salt and pepper to taste

Here is everything ready to go (mise en place – French for everything in its place).

Mushroom Sauce misen

Toast the pine nuts in a skillet.  Remove from pan when the desired color is reached.  This will reduce carry over cooking (carry over cooking is just that, cooking that continues when you turn off the heat but leave the food in the hot pan).  Set aside.

pinenuts in pan

Cut the bacon into lardons and brown.  Remove from skillet when the desired color is reached.  Set aside.

bacon lardon

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet or saute pan until it shimmers.  Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and thyme cook just until fragrant (think seconds).  Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring constantly so they don’t scorch.

mushrooms in skillet

You may need to add a little additional olive oil at this point.  When you mushrooms have started to cook down, add the white wine and lemon juice.  Continue cooking until the liquid has almost evaporated.  Add 2 T flat leaf parsley and stir.  Remove from heat and mix the lardons, pine nuts, grated parmesan cheese and remaining flat leaf parsley.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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