Last Updated on 3 years 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.
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 ac
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mushroom Ragout with Bread Dumplings (‘Rahmschwammerl mit Semmelknödeln’)
- 4 servings German bread dumplings
For the mushrooms:
- clarified butter, for frying
- 8 cups mixed mushrooms (eg. button mushrooms, chanterelles, porcini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms), cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons butter, divided
- black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tarragon sprigs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups homemade beef broth
- 1/4 cup finely minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped
- salt, to taste
Saute the mushrooms:
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add about 2 tablespoons of clarified butter so that the bottom is completely coated. Add half of your mushrooms and saute for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides. The mushrooms will soak up the fat quickly before releasing it during the end of the frying process. In case they stick, don’t add in more clarified butter. Instead, add about a tablespoon of water and continue frying. Once the mushrooms are done, add 1 teaspoon of butter and mix everything well. Season the mushrooms to taste with salt and pepper. Take them out of the pan and cook the remaining mushrooms in the same way.
Cook the sauce:
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon of butter into your saute pan. Add the shallots, garlic, and tarragon and sweat them stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and sweat the mixture for another minute. Then add the white wine to deglaze the pan and let it come up to a simmer stirring constantly. Add your beef broth and bring the sauce to a simmer again stirring constantly to prevent any lumps from forming. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Remove the tarragon sprigs and add the mushrooms and parsley into the pan and stir well. Season the sauce to taste with salt. Turn off the heat and gently fold in the whipped cream.
- Serve the mushroom ragout together with the bread dumplings.
Oh my! This looks sooooo good. And I’ve never been a dumpling fan.
Looking for a German Schwammelbruhe that is made with vinger to make it sweet and sour
Sounds like a great dish Mathilde. I haven’t cooked it yet but maybe I will make it in the future and post it to the blog.