Mushrooms aren’t terribly exciting until they’ve had a few glugs of chicken stock and a glass of wine.  Once the wine hits, they go from a nice, polite, back-drop kind of vegetable to a rich fungi with serious swag.

I know you’ve read this before, but it’s worth repeating, especially when it comes to mushrooms: Do Not Crowd The Pan.  I know, it’s faster to dump the mushrooms in the pan all at once, but if you do, you’ll have pale, wimpy mushrooms steamed in their own juices.

If you’re patient and let the mushrooms take on colour, without poking and prodding them relentlessly, they’ll reward you with a rich brown base, or fond, which colours your pan and provides a great deal of flavour when rescued, or deglazed, with a good splash of wine.

You’ll enjoy these mushrooms with steak, omelettes, roasted chicken, pasta and just about everything else imaginable.

If you’re serving roasted or seared meat, be sure to add any pan juices to the mushrooms.

If you like mushrooms with a silky finish, adding a splash of whipping cream will add richness and a mellow je ne said quois.

Serves  4 – 6

  • 1 lb crimini or button mushrooms, 6 generous cups, sliced or quartered
  • 1/2 cup butter – plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots, about 3 small
  • 1/2 cup red or white wine
  • 3/4 cup  chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp whipping cream, optional

Photo by Caroline West

Before you start, place a strainer over a bowl, as pictured, to drain any excess butter from your sautéed shallots and mushrooms.

In a medium saucepan, melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and sauté the shallots until soft and translucent, about 5 to 6 minutes.

Place the shallots in the strainer to drain them of excess butter, then place them in a clean bowl.

In the same saucepan in which the shallots were cooked, melt another tablespoon of butter and add only enough mushrooms to fit in the pan.  Allow the mushrooms to take on a bit of colour before stirring them and turning them to brown on all sides.

When the mushrooms are golden brown, place them in the strainer, to drain them of excess butter. Then place them in the bowl with the shallots.

Remove the golden fond from the bottom of the saucepan with a splash of wine.  Pour this into the bowl with the shallots and mushrooms.

Continue cooking the mushrooms in batches, deglazing the pan between each batch with a splash of wine.

When all the mushrooms have been cooked, return them ALL to the saucepan, along with the shallots.  Now that they’ve browned, and lost some of their bulk, they don’t mind the over-crowding.

If you have any wine remaining, add it to the mushrooms and turn up the heat, high until the wine is all but evaporated.

Add the chicken stock and allow it to boil until it’s almost evaporated.

Season the mushrooms generously with Kosher salt, about 1/2 teaspoon, more or less depending on the seasoning of your chicken stock.

If you’re serving this with meat, add any pan drippings from the meat.

If you like creamy mushrooms, add a splash of whipping cream.

5 Responses to “Mushrooms”
  1. Gail White says:


    This is what I want for dinner, tonight! Your photographer almost brings to taste to my mouth with her stunning pictures. Well done.

    • Denise says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Gail.

      Yes, my talented friend, Caroline, certainly knows how to capture the essence of food through her lens.

      These mushrooms are especially good in a mushroom lasagna. Mushrooms, wine, pasta … you can’t go wrong.

  2. Nancy says:

    Hi Denise,

    I’m enjoying your website. It’s a rainy day today, and it’s just the perfect time to take a look at what’s here.

    This recipe has inspired me. I’m going to add some spicy Italian sausages to this and use it in pasta. My husband will be thrilled.

    I’ve been noticing that the shallots in the grocery stores seem to be getting larger. Is there any difference in taste or use between the smaller ones and the larger ones? Does it matter?


    • Denise says:

      Mushrooms, sausage and pasta are a classic combination. You might enjoy adding a bit of rosemary to the mix.

      I noticed the trend in larger shallots, too. I haven’t noticed a difference in taste; I use whatever I have on hand, large or small. And, if I’m out of shallots, I’ll use a whatever onion is in the pantry.

      You’ve inspired my dinner plans, Nancy. I’ve been playing around with a new recipe for kale gnocchi and mushrooms and sausage would be the ideal accompaniment. Thanks!

      • Nancy says:

        I’ll be watching your site for that recipe. Anything with kale goes over well with me. Well, in theory at least 🙂


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