As previously noted, there is a bit of porcini madness happening in my kitchen. For the first time ever, after wildcrafting them, I've got enough with which to experiment. This is what I do, with or without an audience. I spend my free time playing in the kitchen, pushing boundaries, seeing what is possible with the wild foods that grow all around me. It's my sport (along with thrifting).
While reading the second volume of recipes out of Blackberry Farm, their recipe for mushroom ketchup caught my eye. They used button and shiitake mushrooms, but of course I had to try it with porcini. My early versions didn't go well. Our methods for making ketchup didn't jive, and I didn't feel like the spice blend worked with my wild Rocky Mountain mushrooms. Nonetheless, that was the genesis of this recipe, my jumping off point. I welcome that sort of inspiration.
In the end, I came up with a much different set of spices to better complement my dried porcini, and also a simplified method for making mushroom ketchup. I'm quite pleased with the end product. As you might imagine, it is heaven on a burger or steak, perfect as a glaze on meatloaf, and surprisingly good as a dip for fries.
1 Tbsp. lard
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. salt
6 cloves Korean black garlic (substitute 2 cloves regular garlic)
2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed
2 tsp. fresh thyme
2 whole allspice, crushed
1/4 tsp. chile flakes
1 bay leaf
4" orange peel
1 Tbsp. sucenat
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1. In a medium-sized pot, saute the onion in lard over medium heat for 2-5 minutes, or just until the onions become translucent. Add the salt, garlic, crushed fennel seedes, thyme, crushed allspice, chile flakes, and bay leaf, and continue to cook until the spices become fragrant.
2. Add the sucenat, molasses, and orange peel to the onion and spices, and cook the mixture for an additional minute.
3. Turn off the heat, and add the water, red wine vinegar, and dried porcini mushrooms. Give them a quick stir to make sure everything is evenly combined, then let the mixture sit until it reaches room temperature.
4. Remove the bay leaf.
5. Using an immersion blender, blend the porcini mushroom ketchup until it is evenly smooth.
6. Taste the mushroom ketchup, and adjust the salt and vinegar, if necessary. Think of the balance that tomato ketchup usually strikes - pretty vinegar-y, with a good backbone of sweetness, and balance from salt and spices. Try to translate that into the porcini mushroom ketchup.
7. Refrigerate in a covered jar for up to two weeks.
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