Here’s a great, basic recipe for an interesting mushroom. They may not be bright orange and vibrant like chicken of the woods, or as attractively shaped as a hen of the woods, but Ischnoderma polypores are excellent when young, and have a good chewy bite to them.
Their flavor is rich and full of umami, it’s hard to describe, but they always make me think Asian food, no matter how I cook them, and I had that in mind when I made this.
Basically, you brown some meat and braise it with the Ischnoderma to make a little stew, and serve the meat, mushrooms and their juice with some peppers and cooked rice. It’s a great example of less is more.
Ischnoderma with Beef, Peppers, and Rice
Serves 2 as an entree
- 10 ounces beef chuck, or another braising cut, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 4 ounces young Ischnoderma mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed of any tough tissue
- 2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon prepared sweet chili sauce
- 1 cup sweet bell pepper diced 1/2 inch (Any pepper is fine, but don’t use green peppers-they’re bitter)
- 1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced 1/4 inch
- 2 cup beef stock, preferably homemade
- Fresh chopped cilantro, to garnish
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons high heat cooking oil or lard
Season the meat liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until lightly smoking. Brown the beef deeply on all sides, then remove and discard the oil. Add 2 tablespoons of fresh oil to the pan and brown the mushrooms, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the beef back to the pan along with the stock, then cook the mixture until the beef is very tender, with the cover ajar, about 1.5 hours.
To serve, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and sweat the onion, then add the peppers and season lightly to taste. Add the cooked rice and heat through, then finish with the cilantro.
Bring the beef and mushroom mixture back to a simmer, reducing the liquid if it looks watery, then whisk in a tablespoon of unsalted butter to thicken the sauce, it should be gravy-esque. Double check the seasoning for spiciness, salt and pepper. To serve, on the middle of two heated dinner plates, put a mount of peppers and rice, then divide the beef and mushroom mixture between them off center, spooning the sauce over the top.