Thursday, 11 October 2007

Mushroom ragout

It's been a busy evening in the PipneyJane household. Yesterday, DH and I did our main supermarket shop for the month and scored 1.5kg of mushrooms for 28p! Result!

They were in the "Reduced Price" aisle, so needed to be cooked relatively quickly. We already had mushrooms in the fridge, but I can't look a cheap mushroom in the mouth; this evening, I turned my kitchen into a mushroom processing factory. First, I cleaned and sliced 2kg of mushrooms (as I said, we already had some). Then I divided them up and started cooking.

I chopped 5 onions, crushed 6 cloves of garlic, added 800g of mushrooms and made base. That should make 4 or 5 containers for the freezer (it's still cooling, so I haven't dished it up yet). Another 350g of mushrooms went towards making "Mushroom Duxelles", a type of pate (recipe later).

The balance of the mushrooms went towards making Mushroom Ragout. This recipe is based on one from Sue Kreitzman which was published in a Sainsbury Supermarket cookbook. I haven't seen the cookbook for at least 3 years, couldn't find it when I looked, so cooked this from memory. It makes 2 pints, for a total of 14 WW points. I usually freeze half for later.

This works well as a sauce over pasta (I use tagliatelli), as a filling for a vegetarian lasagne or as the basis for a quick, creamy mushroom risotto.

Mushroom Ragout

makes 2 pints or approximately 8 servings


Olive oil spray
1 onion, chopped
750g mushrooms, sliced
20g dried porcini mushrooms
1 x 400g/14oz can evaporated semi-skimmed milk (skimmed would be better, but I can't get it)
300ml/1/2 pint skimmed milk
30ml/2 tablespoons brandy
1 heaped tablespoon dried mustard
25g corn flour
25g/1oz freshly grated parmesan cheese
Pepper in a grinder


  1. Start by preparing the dried mushrooms. Put them into a bowl, cover with hot water (approximately 100ml/4 fl oz) and set aside. They will need approximately 15 minutes to reconstitute.
  2. Spray a large saucepan or wok with the olive oil spray and heat.
  3. Gently fry the onions until soft.
  4. Stir in the fresh mushrooms (yes, all of them), pour over the brandy, add a splash of water and gently fry the mushrooms until they make water. Turn up the heat and reduce the mushroom water by approximately two thirds.
  5. Drain the dried mushrooms through a sieve, collecting the liquid in a measuring jug. (I use a coffee filter for this - it catches any grit.) Chop these mushrooms and add them to the saucepan. Measure the mushroom liquid and top it up to 300ml/half a pint with the skimmed milk.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the dried mustard, corn flour and sufficient of the milk/mushroom liquid mix to make a paste. Stir it into the balance of the milk mixture. Ensure it is well combined.
  7. Add the milk mixture and evaporated milk to the mushrooms in the pan. Stir well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Just before serving, stir in the parmesan cheese and grind over some pepper. Once the cheese has been added, don't reboil the sauce as it may curdle.
- Pam

1 comment:

MrSnarkyPants said...

I've found that sliced mushrooms freeze very well. Put them into an old margarine tub or rubbermaid container and toss in a handful while you're cooking without defrosting.