Every poutine-eating Canadian knows that gravy should not be grey. It should be healthy shades of brown and salty.
The recipe is time-consuming, but also very much worth the fuss in the end. It involves three main parts: the mushroom filling, which must be made in advance, the biscuits themselves, and the sauce. I’d recommend reserving a good hour for making the mushroom filling, which is somewhat of a process. Also, you’ll want a cotton dishtowel that you don’t mind completely ruining forever.
This is a classic recipe for Mushroom Duxelles, which you can find on about.com. You'll have extra left over, but this is a good thing. It freezes well.
32 oz mushrooms (button, morel, crimini)
4+4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup shallot, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 cup sherry cooking wine
Salt and pepper
Roughly chop the mushrooms and put into food processor. Pulse-chop until the mushroom pieces are as small as breadcrumbs.
Place the mushrooms in a clean, cotton towel (which you don’t mind getting stained and smelling like fungus), and squeeze out the juices mercilessly. I was very surprised at how much brown juice is inside of mushrooms.
Heat 4 tbsp of butter in a large pan over medium to medium-high heat. Put the strained mushrooms, shallots, thyme and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper into the pan. Stir this mixture to fully blend, making sure no lumps remain, and cook for 5-7 minutes, when the mushrooms are dried out and browning nicely.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and once it’s melted, add the sherry. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed.
This is just good old biscuit dough with other things added.
2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried thyme
6 tbsp butter, chilled
1 cup milk + maybe some more
Set the oven to 450F and grease a muffin pan.
Whisk together the first 4 ingredients. Add the butter in small pieces and cut it into the flour with a fork or a fancy specialized utensil, until the crumbs are the size of peas.
Add 3/4 cup of the milk and fold the dough until mostly mixed. At this point, keep adding milk until the dough is just slightly sticky. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
With the help of a spoon, scrape a small ball of dough into the bottom of each muffin hole. Then, add a heaping tablespoon of mushroom stuffing onto the dough, keeping it in a ball and pressing it slightly into the dough. Cover each biscuit with a second spoonful of dough.
Put the biscuits in the oven for 15 minutes. This is just enough time to make the sauce!
This sauce is friendly to vegans!
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red wine
1 heaping soup spoon of miso
1/2 cup water
1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the shallots, cooking until transparent and starting to brown. Add the red wine and lower it to a simmer. Let it cook like this for about 5 minutes; the liquid should be reduced by a half. Add the miso and the 1/2 cup water. Stir to dissolve the miso and bring back to a boil. At the end, you can optionally mix some cornstarch with a few drops of cold water in a small bowl and then pour it into the sauce to thicken it, stirring it over the heat for 30 seconds more before taking it off to serve.
Serve the biscuits with the red wine sauce and the rest of the bottle of wine that you bought for "cooking".