Duxelles

This versatile mushroom seasoning is thought to have been devised by La Varenne, master cook to the Marquis d’Uxelles and author of the first modern cookery book in France, Le Cuisinier françois, which appeared in 1651. A pot of duxelles will store in the refrigerator for a few days, or for longer, ideally in cubes, in the freezer. Add to sauces, stuffings (especially for fish), soups and pies.

Ingredients

  • 225 g(8 oz) mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 slim clove of garlic, chopped (optional)
  • salt, milled pepper
  • a little finely chopped parsley

Method

Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth and chop finely. Heat the butter with the oil and stir in the shallot and garlic. When softened add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they have given up their liquid. Reduce the heat slightly and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated.

I prefer to store the mixture at this stage so that I can season as I wish, say with nutmeg or mint when I come to use it. But if you wish, season now with salt and pepper and mix in the parsley.

Spoon into a lidded container and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for 1–2 months.

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