Not-Quite Meatless Sunday: Slow Shortcut to Mushrooms! (Crockpot Garlic Mushroom Recipe)
There are lots of reasons to go–people-watching at its best, costumes, cool dialogue, great comedy, great music…and then there’s the food.
The giant roasted turkey legs are, I think, a staple of Faires everywhere. And they are actually fairly easy to make onesself, once one actually has the turkey legs; one year instead of roasting the whole Thanksgiving turkey I instead dismembered it, roasting the breast separately, cutting up and freezing the thighs, making stock from the carcass and wings, and roasting the legs in a little barbecue sauce in a 350 degree oven for an hour or two. Absolute yum.
But this post is not about the turkey legs; this post is about the shrooms. The giant vat of garlic sauteed mushrooms swimming in broth, from which the guy will dip you out a serving complete with styrofoam bowl (grr) and plastic spork (grrr), or ladle out a quart in a Ball jar to take home. These shrooms are lovely–soft and flavorful and generally absolutely delicious, and one of those rare things you really can’t get anywhere but at the Renaissance Faire.
Except, now, my kitchen, and my crockpot.
Well, I found a recipe for them online. And discovered today that my local grocery store, the one I almost never go to, was selling mushrooms on sale at a huge discount. I couldn’t resist; I bought 3 lbs, even though it meant incurring 6 horrible styrofoam containers, and a quart of organic beef broth, even though it meant ridiculous amounts of sodium and a non-recyclable tetrapak container.
Renfaire Garlic Shroom Nirvana (so simple I can hardly even call it a recipe)
I came home, I washed the shrooms, I put all 3 lbs of them into my biggest (6 quart, I think?) crockpot, with one chopped onion and about half a cup (okay, in my case more like 2/3 of a cup) of minced garlic (or “jarlic,” actually, it’s the pre-minced stuff, sue me) and the quart of broth. Also a splash of lemon juice and a little black pepper. I put it on low in the crock, and went to work.
I came home from work. My husband was speechless with joy and amazement. Okay, actually, he tasted them and said, “Hmm. Not bad.” –which is from him the equivalent of “Delicious, honey, please make this again!” (As opposed to “It’s okay,” which means I’ll eat it when you cook it and I won’t complain or else I know you’ll tell me to cook next time, but it ain’t my thing.”) But he also knows I know he loves these, so I’m hoping I have garnered a few Wife Points from this…
These are really good. And they taste a LOT like what we get at the Faire, only not as salty, which is good.
Three pounds of mushrooms gave me two quart jars of mushrooms and broth, plus an extra pint of very intense shroom-garlic-onion-beef broth. If you wanted to store them or give them away, you’d fill each clean hot quart jar with mushrooms and then fill it to the top with broth, so they can continue sort of marinading in there. And store in the fridge. I honestly can’t speak to how long they should last in there, but I suspect it’s a good long while, and the Shroommeister at the Faire said you could also freeze them almost indefinitely.
Now, future iterations of this recipe will happen with vegetable broth, or faux-beef-broth such as I found a recipe for here (essentially adding a little vegan Worcestershire and soy sauce to regular veggie broth), the low-sodium version, and hopefully mushrooms I got in bulk somewhere with my own produce bags. (No apologies for the jarlic; I will keep using that.) That would make this a recipe actually appropriate for a green blog. For the moment I just get maybe cheap-and-homemade points, since for maybe $8-9 I got a lot of shrooms.
God, I love mushrooms. Just send me to the Shire and invite me to dinner at the Gamgees…