Beautiful, earthy mushrooms fried with garlic and herbs. Banish anaemic and soggy mushrooms forever by following this simple method for guaranteed browning.
Mushrooms can be difficult to fry and brown, due to their high water content. Fungi are like mini sponges, which makes them excellent for soaking up and retaining liquid (in fact, I use them in place of a panade in these gluten-free meatloaf and gluten-free faggot recipes). The traditional method for frying mushrooms involves sauteing them quickly at a very high heat, before they have time to release much juice. However, this often fails, resulting in an unpleasant pool of oily mushroom juice at the bottom of the plate. It also means that the mushrooms taste underwhelming, as it is the browning reaction that happens on the surface which develops the flavour.
Tips & Tricks
- Boil out the liquid from the mushrooms before frying – mushrooms release a lot of water when put directly into hot fat, which causes them to steam rather than brown
- Add a tablespoon or so of cold water- this stops the mushrooms from sticking to the pan at first, before they have had time to release any water
- Add more oil before adding the garlic – hot oil is needed to release the flavour compounds
- Reduce the heat – otherwise the garlic will burn and taste bitter
- 500g mushrooms (I used chestnut mushrooms)
- 1-2 tablespoons cold water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cooking oil (I used lard)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, leaves only (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (or brandy)
- Rinse the mushrooms under a cold tap, gently wiping off any soil. Chop each mushroom into 3-4 slices, depending on size. Transfer to a large, heavy-based frying pan.
- Add the water and cover with a lid. Heat over a medium heat until the mushrooms release their juices and are boiling in the liquid – about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and increase, and increase the heat to high. Continue to boil until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms start to sizzle – about 5-7 minutes. The mushrooms will shrink considerably in size.
- Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, and fry until browned, stirring frequently – about 5-7 minutes. The mushrooms should sizzle in the hot oil.
- Take the pan off the heat and add 1 teaspoon of cooking oil. Stir in the thyme, black pepper and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and fry for another 2 minutes. If making boozy mushrooms, add the sherry vinegar now (or brandy). Increase the heat to high, and cook until evaporated – about 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.