Magic Mushroom Powder

Last Sunday, Paul made me a prime rib recipe that he’s been telling me about for some time now.  A recipe that he created.  Prime rib is slathered in mustard and then covered in dried mushroom powder.  I have to say that whenever he would talk about it, I would be skeptical.

You grind up dried mushrooms? You don’t hydrate it first?  Not even porcini mushrooms, Chinese dehydrated shitake mushrooms?

I think I subtlely asked him about 10 times on the way to the supermarket and up until we finally paid for the bag of dried shitake mushrooms.  I tried to steer him in the porcini direction but, unfortunately, the Superstore we were at didn’t have porcini mushroom.  All I could think about was sawdust. In the car on the way home, I made my last attempt, “Are you sure you’ve made this before?”  Perhaps subtlety isn’t my strongest suit? But there was a beautiful piece of meat on the line!

Let me fast forward to the outcome. It was absolutely delicious!!  The moisture from the mustard hydrated the dried mushroom powder and roasting it turned it into a lovely, mushroomy, savoury crust.  We ate it with mashed potatoes and homemade caesar salad.

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The next day, leftovers became open face roast beef cheddar cheese sandwiches.  The meat heated up in the gravy made from the roast beef drippings, and the cheddar cheese melted on toasted Portuguese buns.  Tell me you’re not salivating right now.

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Don’t worry if you end up with a lot of excess mushroom powder that you don’t end up using for the roast and the sauce (I just estimated how many shitake mushrooms he ground up since he just filled up the nutri bullet and started blitzing away).  It can be kept in an airtight container and will add great umami depth to any sauce you make, especially one to go with beef.  He’s got me hooked on this magic mushroom powder thing, I’m now a believer.

– SS

P.S. This is the only time I’m letting him say, “I told you so!”

Paul’s Dijon and Mushroom Crusted Prime Rib
Feeds 6

What you need:
4 whole garlic heads, cut in half
1-2 shallots, peeled and roughly sliced
5.5 lb Prime Rib or Standing Rib Roast
3 cups or more grainy mustard
3 cups or more dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
10 dried shitake mushrooms or so, pulverized (enough to cover the whole roast with a thick layer all over)

What to do:
1. Season meat generously with salt and pepper (don’t be shy! Be especially generous on the fatty parts) and then slather with a thick layer of both grainy mustard and dijon mustard all over (CAKE IT ON).  Cover and marinate as long as you can, overnight would be ideal.

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2. Preheat oven to 500°F.

3. Ground up all the dried shitake mushrooms in a food processor or blender to a fine powder.

4. Place garlic and shallots on the bottom of a roasting pan.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

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4. Cover roast with ground up dried shitake mushroom on all sides (save about 1 cup of the dried mushroom powder for the sauce).  Place on top of garlic and shallots in the roasting pan.

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5. Pop roast into oven for 15 minutes.  Then turn down heat to 325°F and cook for 110 minutes (20 minutes per pound) for medium rare or the only way to cook beef.

6. Take out of oven and transfer roast to a chopping board to let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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7. Make the sauce: Mash, squeeze and strain all the drippings, and juices from the garlic and shallots into a small saucepan.  Add the reserved mushroom powder and more black pepper to your taste. You can let boil then simmer to thicken and add butter at the end. Or you can add some beef broth (homemade preferably, about 1 cup), red wine (a splash), and let boil then simmer to thicken.  And then add butter (a thick slice) at the end.  Paul didn’t measure the quantities (as usual) so keep tasting and adjusting by adding a little bit more of this and that until you reach a thick, delicious gravy.

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8. Slice thinly and serve with mashed potatoes, caesar salad and a large ladle of the gravy on top.

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