The Best Four Recipes for Mushroom Gravy
Neither my father nor my mother reportedly tasted a mushroom in their entire lifetimes. Not ever having them in the house (mushrooms, not parents), I first tasted mushrooms on my first pizza at age 18. They were delicious with the melted cheese.
I will always remember the first pizza. In fact, I remember the first pizza better than the first kiss.
Slow-Cook Chops and Mushroom Gravy
- 1 Crock Pot
- Vegetable oil
- 8 pork chops
- 8 ounces fresh Mushroom caps or sliced Mushrooms
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1, 12-ounce can of low-salt Cream of Mushroom Soup
- 1 Tbsp dried onion flakes
- White wine (optional - see INSTRUCTIONS)
- Heat a frying pan over medium high heat and then cover the bottom of the pan thinly with oil. Very lightly brown the pork chops, frying 2 minutes per side and removing to a platter.
- Mix all the seasonings except onion in a cup.
- Place chops two at a time into a crock pot and place 1/4 of the seasonings on top, followed by 1/4 of the mushrooms.
- Add dried onions to the frying pan and mix with pan drippings. Add a little white wine to deglaze the pan if you wish and add the contents of the pan to the crock pot.
- Cook chops on Low for 6-8 hours and serve,
Rabbit - Mushroom Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 pounds of rabbit, butchered into serving pieces. (You may want to substitute a chicken).
- 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
- 2 scallions, sliced (all the white and 1/2 the greens)
- 4 Rashers of bacon, cut into 1" squares
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 1 Cup dry white wine
- 1 Cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 2 ounces fresh mushroom caps or sliced mushrooms, or 1 4-ounce can
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- In a heavy pot, heat EVOO over medium-high heat.
- Brown meat in batches of 2-3 for 2 minutes a side.
- Remove meat to a platter.
- Add onion, bacon, and garlic to the pan and cook 2 minutes.
- Pour in wine and add tomatoes and rosemary.
- Stir and bring to the boil, crushing tomatoes somewhat with a large kitchen spoon.
- Turn burner to low setting.
- Cover pot and simmer 90 minutes until the meat is tender.
It was not until my work in management at the Ponderosa Steakhouses did I meet Mushroom Sauce. Dark, earthy, and delicious, it was the perfect gravy-like covering for juicy steaks - rib eye, sirloin, T-bone, Porterhouse, even chopped steak sandwiches. Our mushroom sauces were made from scratch every day and here is a recipe for simple steakhouse mushrooms for you to enjoy.
- Wash one 8 ounces of small white or brown mushrooms, or wash and slice larger types.
- Heat four tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Cook and stir the mushrooms and salt and pepper to taste for 5 minutes, until lightly brown and beginning to soften.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mushrooms, about another 8 minutes.
- If you want a rich gravy, add meat drippings from your favorite dish and simmer until well blended and heated, thickening with a little flour or cornstarch if needed.
How Ponderosa and its Mushrooms Closed Down McDonald's
The Early Ponderosa Story
In my management training class, we learned that there was a MdDonald's® in Kokomo Indiana back in the 1960s. Working there was a productive young man aged 19 with two years experience. He applied for the management training program and was tuirned own because the was "too young."
Angered, this man gathered support and opened his Scotty's Restaurant within a block of the Golden Arches. He reversed the prices of the fries and burgers -- high school and college kids always bought the more expensive fries and shakes after school and now they were buying fries, burgers, and shakes - all from Scotty's instead of McDonald's.
The young man, Dan Lasater, built three more Scotty's to surround his original employer and put that unit out of business.
Next, Dan partnered with Norm Wiese, opened the first Ponderosa Steak House in Kokomo, and after some ups and downs, retired at age 30 as a multimillionaire to Florida and raised racehorses. Ponderosa Headquarters moved for a time onto land at the Dayton International Airport. My training class gasped when we say that the CEO's private office was furnished with a bathroom that included a 24K gold landline telephone beside the toilet.
A Mushroom Mini-Recipe
I sometimes like to melt together three cheeses, thin green bell pepper rings, thinly sliced Vidalia onions, and mushrooms.
Saute the vegetables in a little melted butter and melt cheese over them in the pan over low heat. Swiss, mozzarella, and sharp white cheddar are good together. You can also sprinkle a little Parmesan over the top once you dish the combination onto a plate. Sprinkle a little ground black pepper over the top and voila!
You can prepare this dish in a microwave by placing the vegetables attractively on a microwave-safe plate, arrange the three cheeses on top and cook 90 seconds to 2 minutes on HIGH power. Remove the plate and sprinkle on Parmesan and ground black pepper.
© 2009 Patty Inglish MS