Mushroom Confit 1.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

DIY Mar 18, 2015

Here you poach the fungi delicately in a lightly flavored olive oil, making the most of your kitchen prep time by preserving a mess of mushrooms all at once.

You'll need a clean glass pint jar and an instant-read thermometer.

Use the velvety, meaty mushrooms in pizza, tacos and bread pudding; added to a stir-fry; tucked into an omelet. A mix of mushrooms works as well as a single batch of cremini or button mushrooms.

Make Ahead: Keep the mushrooms entirely submerged in oil, and use them one at a time or all at once; when they're all gone, keep the oil, which is good for sautes. Both the mushrooms and oil, refrigerated in an airtight container, will keep for at least 2 weeks.


Servings:
1 pint

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 pint

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (see headnote)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 to 1 cup neutral olive oil or grapeseed oil, or more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

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Directions

Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a damp paper towel. If the stem is edible, simply trim the ends; otherwise, separate the caps from the stems. Reserve the stems to make a mushroom broth (see NOTE, below) or discard.

If the caps are unblemished and beautiful, plan to confit them whole; otherwise, cut the caps into 1/2-inch dice.

Place the mushrooms gill sides up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the salt. Set aside to dry-brine for 30 minutes. (If diced, sprinkle with the salt and skip the 30-minute rest.)

Heat 1/2 inch of the oil in a straight-sided, heavy skillet large enough to hold the mushrooms in a single layer, over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the shallot; cook for several minutes, until translucent. Add the thyme and the mushrooms, gill sides up. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for 15 minutes, turning the mushrooms over halfway through.

Add enough oil so the mushrooms are fully submerged; cook gently until the oil registers 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Cool the mushrooms in the oil. Pack the mushrooms in the clean glass jar, gently layering each one in the jar, then covering with oil; continue layering and adding oil until all the mushrooms have been packed in the jar. Run a chopstick or a plastic knife along the inside of the jar to release any air bubbles. Make sure the mushrooms are completely submerged in the oil, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use (for up to 2 weeks).

NOTE: To make a mushroom broth, coarsely chop the mushroom stems, then steep them in hot water to cover for 2 hours. Strain through cheesecloth or a coffee filter, and use the resulting intense mushroom broth in soups or sauces. Or simply sip it, garnished with fresh chives.

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Recipe Source

From Cathy Barrow, the author of “Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving” (W.W. Norton, 2014).

Tested by Cathy Barrow.

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