Mushroom ragout with bread dumplings
Dumplings, Stews, Vegetables

Mushroom Ragout with Bread Dumplings (‘Rahmschwammerl mit Semmelknödeln’)

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Last Updated on 8 months by Tim

Mushrooms are truly unique in the world of vegetables. They’ve got an almost meaty flavor to them with a slightly chewy texture. It’s hard for me to express to you how much I adore them.

Last week I taught you how to make German bread dumplings. And, in my opinion, there’s really no better way to serve them than with this savory and rich mushroom ragout.

It’s a popular dish all across Southern Germany that originated in the Bavaria region. It’s traditionally made with a mixture of locally sourced wild mushrooms from the forest. So besides its great taste, it’s also phenomenal for your health.

Mushrooms have been used as a natural remedy for centuries because of their astonishing health benefits. They can be used as a treatment for Parkinson, Alzheimer, hypertension, and high risk of stroke. They are also utilized to reduce the likelihood of cancer invasion and metastasis.

Check out the scientific paper: Edible Mushrooms: Improving Human Health and Promoting Quality Life if you’re interested in a detailed write-up about the health benefits of mushrooms. It’s a phenomenal review that will hopefully convince you to include more mushrooms in your diet.

A wide variety of mushrooms makes the best mushroom ragout

This mushroom ragout tastes best with a broad variety of different mushrooms. That way you will get a different texture and flavor with every bite.

The German word ‘Schwammerl’ refers to chanterelles which can be commonly found in German and Eastern European forests. They form the base of this mushroom ragout. But besides the chanterelles, the choice of mushrooms is totally up to your choice.

A mixture of wild mushrooms

I additionally used the widely available button, porcini, and oyster mushrooms. But really, use whatever variety you have excess to. Shiitake and enoki mushrooms would work equally well in this recipe even though they’re not native to Germany.

It’s important that you use whatever you can locally source and whatever is in season. It doesn’t make sense to buy a ton of stale ingredients from the other end of the world when you have access to fresh and vibrant local produce. You should always be adapting my recipes to what’s locally available at your place. Make them your own.

The proper way to saute your mushrooms

This mushroom ragout is super simple and quick to make. You first saute the mushrooms over high heat for 3-4 minutes or until they’re cooked to your liking.

Always make sure to not overcook them. They should still retain their texture and not disintegrate into nothing. That’s why they get salted at the very end of the cooking process. You don’t want to pull out every last drop of moisture from the mushrooms.

You don’t want them to become a soggy and mushy mess. They should retain their shape and integrity. So take them out of the pan while still a little firm.

Mushrooms sauteed in the pan

It’s also important that you do not overcrowd your pan while sauteeing. Work in batches. You don’t want to steam your mushrooms. You want to get some color onto them.

How to make the sauce

The aromatics I use to flavor my sauce are shallots, garlic, and tarragon. They should be sweated in butter for a few minutes before you deglaze the pan with white wine to develop some flavor.

To thicken the sauce a little I also recommend you to sprinkle your aromatics with a little flour shortly before deglazing. The flour should then be sweated together with the aromatics for at least a minute. That way you avoid having to thicken with cornstarch later which gives sauces a more gummy-like texture and dulls the flavor.

Making the sauce for the mushroom ragout

Once you’ve added all your white wine and beef broth you need to let the sauce simmer for at least 5 minutes to infuse the sauce with the tarragon flavor and to cook out the raw flour taste.

Once your sauce is ready, you can add the mushrooms and parsley to warm them through.

The sauce is then enriched by adding in lightly whipped cream. Whipping the cream before adding it to the sauce will make it super light and airy. Just make sure to fold the whipped cream in carefully so that you don’t lose all its volume.

Folding in the whipped cream into the mushroom ragout sauce

How to serve your mushroom ragout

This mushroom ragout is traditionally served with German bread dumplings. And as much as I’d like to recommend you alternatives, there’s no equally good substitute for them. Spätzle or potatoes just won’t do it for this recipe.

The bread dumplings, on the one hand, are texturally a little similar to the mushrooms, and, on the other hand, act as the perfect sponge to soak up every last drop of that umami-rich sauce.

Bread dumplings and mushroom ragout are a food pairing made in heaven. They’re meant to be eaten together and I’ve never seen this dish served in any other way.

One Comment

  1. Oh my! This looks sooooo good. And I’ve never been a dumpling fan.

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