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Mushroom Gravy

Sauces - Pouring

There is no single receipt. Bradley 1728 has a long discussion.


Original Receipt in 'The Country Housewife and Lady's Director' by Prof. R Bradley, 1728 (Bradley 1728)

Of Mushroom Gravey.
When you clean your Mushrooms, save the Parings, and wash them well from the Dirt, and then put to them the Gills that have been scraped from the large Buttons, and with a very little Water put them in a Saucepan, and stir them frequently till you have got all the juice from them; then strain the Liquor from them, and set it by to cool, or else till you have stew'd the Mushrooms that they were taken from, and then add the Liquor of the stew'd Mushrooms to the aforesaid Liquor, and boil them both together, with about 80 Cloves, about a Drachm of Mace, and two Drachms of whole Pepper to each Quart of Liquor, which will be lit to take off the Fire when it has lost about a third part by boiling; then pass it thro' a dry Sieve, into a dry earthen Pan, and let it stand till it be quite cold before you bottle it, observing then that the Bottles be very dry, for if they happen to be wet, it will soon turn mouldy. When the Bottles are fill'd, cork them well with sound new Corks, and tye a piece of Bladder, that has been softened in warm Water, over every Cork as tight as possible, and set the Bottles in a dry Place; with this management it will keep a long time.

What I learn'd else from the above mention'd Gentleman, concerning the preparing of Mushrooms for eating, was, that they should be always used when they are fresh gather'd, and then only such as are without Worms, which may be easily perceived by cutting their Stems cross-wise; and also that as soon as the Peel is pared off, and the Gills, let the large Mushrooms be cut into pieces, of the bigness of Nutmegs, and thrown into Water, as well the Stems as the Caps, for they are both good; then wash them well, and stew them a Sauce-pan, without putting any Liquor to them, or Spice, or Salt, till they have discharged a great deal of their own Liquor, and, begin to grow tender; you will then find them shrink into a very narrow compass, and must have the greatest part of the Liquor poured from them, with which you may make the Mushroom-Gravey abovemention'd. The Mushrooms being thus prepared, put to them a Seasoning of Pepper, Salt, Mace, and such other Ingredients as will not rob the Mushrooms too much of their own natural Flavour, and stir them frequently till they are enough; then put a little White-wine and Butter to them, and they will make an excellent good Dish: or else they may be made brown with some burned Butter, or be made into a Ragout. As for the broiling of the Caps of the large Mushrooms, the same Person's Receipt directs to rub the Caps with Butter on both sides, and strew Pepper and Salt on them, and broil them till they are quite hot through, turning them two or three times on the Fire, they will make their own Sauce when they come to be cut. Another way which he directs, is to make a pretty thick Batter of Flower, Water, or Milk and Eggs beaten together with some Salt and Pepper, to dip them in, and then fry them like Tripe; and for their Sauce, he recommends Butter, a little White-wine, and some of the Mushroom-Gravey, to be well mix'd together.

Some of my Acquaintance, who have try'd these Directions, approve of them; and, for my own part, I think them as agreeable as any that I have eaten: but as the Taste is not alike in every one, I shall add an Observation or two more of Monsieur Garneau's, concerning the Mushroom, which I think not unworthy our notice. The Mushroom, says that Gentleman, is not only a good Groundwork for all high Sauces, but itself a good Meat to be dress'd after any manner, either to compose a white or brown Fricassee, or fry'd or broil'd, or baked in Pyes with common Seasoning, and stands in the room of Flesh better than any thing that has yet been found out.




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