Slow Cooker Sunday: Bordeaux-Braised Mushrooms

I’ve heard there are folks who hate mushrooms. I utterly adore them. Mushroom-hating may or may not be on my list of romantic deal-breakers. Some people want a mate who wants kids, others want partners who are a specific religion. I simply cannot fathom a mushroom-free life with a guy who hates them. If such a man manages to win my heart despite my must-love-mushrooms requirement, he will be eating a lot of peanut butter sandwiches and/or dining alone!

Some friends were raving about The Pioneer Woman’s Burgundy Mushrooms recently and I’ve been wanting to try the recipe since. I mean, it involves mushrooms, red wine, and garlic, three of my favorite ingredients! So I ran out and purchased 4.5 lbs of mushrooms for this. As I searched for a nice burgundy, I noticed a bottle of the 2010 Château Lafont Fourcat Bordeaux and decided to substitute the burgundy with this; it just looked too good to pass up.

Now, I don’t love red wine; it gives me headaches and I have a hard time appreciating the subtleties because I get distracted by the tartness and tannic flavors. But I really like this particular red; it’s smooth, not too tannic, neither super-sweet nor super-dry, and it tastes like blackberries to me. Alas, I can only have a very small glass of it at a time before I develop a headache. But man, it’s really tasty!

Anyway, I bought two bottles of the Lafont, one for the mushrooms, the other for both the boeuf en daube (fancy French for beef stew) I planned to make the next day and my glass.

Mushrooms and Bordeaux

I like big ‘shrooms and I cannot lie

In my 6.5 quart slow cooker, I threw in the mushrooms (it’s not quite large enough for all 4.5 lbs but I made them fit), two sticks of butter, a couple dashes of Worcestershire, a teaspoon of ground black pepper, six cloves of garlic, three beef bouillon cubes, four teaspoons of chicken bouillon paste (the equivalent of four cubes), and two cups of boiling water.

Mushrooms, bouillon, Worcestershire, a bottle of Bordeaux, and of course, the Crock Pot.
Sorry for the blurry photo; I put my phone in a plastic snack-sized baggie to protect it from spills and didn’t want to fuss with taking it out and putting it back in again.

I set my slow cooker for three hours on high, covered. After the three hours, I uncovered it and set it to cook on low for six more hours, and went to bed, knowing it would continue to cook after the auto-switch to Warm and reduce the liquid while I slept. Like the lazy person I am, I slept late the next day and lounged in bed for hours. I think the total time those mushrooms spent in my slow cooker was about 18 hours.

This is what 4.5 lbs of mushrooms look like after slow cooking in red wine for 18 hours

This is what 4.5 lbs of mushrooms look like after slow cooking in red wine for 18 hours

Closeup of the braised mushrooms

Closeup of the braised mushrooms

The mushrooms beautifully absorbed all the wine-y goodness of the Bordeaux. I omitted the salt entirely because of all the bouillon already in the dish and the mushrooms letting loose their umami-filled juices. Even so, I found that it was still rather salty despite reducing the number of beef bouillon cubes from four in the Pioneer Woman’s recipe to three. I should have reduced the chicken bouillon too. I am confident two cubes of each will be sufficient next time. I would also reduce the sticks of butter from two to one;  the second stick didn’t really add anything to the flavor and only made it greasy.

Overall, I really like these mushrooms and will be making my version again.

My version of The Pioneer Woman’s Burgundy Mushrooms:

  • 4.5 pounds white button mushrooms, cleaned thoroughly
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 bottle Bordeaux
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 whole chicken bouillon cubes (or two tsps chicken bouillon paste)
  • 2 whole beef bouillon cubes (or two tsps beef bouillon paste)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled

Dump everything into the slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for three hours, then turn to low for six to nine more hours, uncovered.

For The Pioneer Woman’s recipe, click here.

2 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Sunday: Bordeaux-Braised Mushrooms

    • I ate it with beef stew. I also cut some up and topped a baked potato; and made cottage pie from leftover beef stew and mushrooms.

      You could also eat them with polenta; minced into mushroom-filled puff pastry; sliced and tossed with hot buttered pasta and minced parsley; mac and cheese; or cold in a frisée salad with goat cheese and glazed pecans.

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