Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Real Bristol Renaissance Faire Garlic Butter Mushroom recipe; portioned for at-home cooks.

A vendor, I don't remember his name, so I'll call him Chef Mike, sold the most delicious garlic butter mushrooms at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Bristol, Wisconsin (near Kenosha). Be sure to buy a quart on your way out.
I'm still trying to remember the year I became interested in Garlic Butter Mushrooms. It has nothing to do with watching her stir the pot for a minute!







From memory: Chef Mike started making and selling his garlic butter mushrooms for the King Richard's Faire in the late 1970s, today's Bristol Renaissance Faire. After chatting with Chef Mike every year and asking for the recipe, he finally told me in the mid-1990s, "My kid didn't want my business," so he'll give me his recipe, "You are persistent. You've come here yearly for a long time,  so I know you'll enjoy the mushrooms." I wrote down what he told me.

A different gentleman was stringing the pot in the same spot the following year. I bought some mushrooms — Lo and behold — they were exactly the same! 

On my way out of the Faire, I always purchased a quart or two (one to give as a gift). I asked him about Chef Mike, "He sold me his business and retired to Arizona." 



Chef Mike reviewed the recipe I wrote down and said, "You got it."

I recalculated, checked, and then double-checked Chef Mike's recipe from his commercial recipe, which I wrote down and portioned for at-home cooks. You may do the math to report the recipe to meet your needs.

Chef Mike's Garlic Butter Mushroom Recipe
YOU WILL BE 100% SATISFIED REMEMBERING THE TASTE AT THE FAIRE IF YOU FOLLOW THIS RECIPE EXACTLY THE FIRST TIME YOU MAKE IT.
Do you remember the mushrooms at the Renaissance Faire being too salty? ME NEITHER.

INGREDIENTS
2 pounds whole mushrooms; Button, Cremini, or both, stems trimmed
Mushroom Brush
2 cups white onion, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 LEVEL tablespoons salt (see: Note From The Chef, below)
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper, not too coarse
10 cloves of Garlic, Very Thinly Sliced
1/2 cup of a quality dry White Wine (Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon
      Blanc, Chablis, dry Reisling, or your favorite white wine)






HEED WHAT CHEF MIKE SAID TO ME
"I know that 2 tablespoons of salt seems like a lot. If you’re like me, you tend to routinely reduce the salt or totally leave the salt out of some recipes. After making several thousand pounds of mushrooms, I know one thing: 
 
If you don’t salt the mushrooms adequately while they are cooking, you’ll end up adding twice as much salt later to get the same flavor."
Chef Mike   
     

PLEASE DO NOT CUT THE SALT THE FIRST TIME YOU MAKE THIS



Lightly clean the mushrooms with a mushroom brush and a wet paper towel. Then, place the mushrooms in a bowl and add enough water to cover them. (Since mushrooms float, put a plate over them to weigh them down and keep them underwater. Rince each Mushroom under running lukewarm water; use the sprayer if your faucet has one. Loosen all stuff off the mushrooms.)

Add the mushrooms to a large pot.
You'll have enough to share if you multiply the recipe by two or three.
Cover with water. Add a plate over the top that will fit INSIDE THE POT to ensure the mushrooms get an 8-hour or overnight soaking.

Next, heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt. Toss in the onions, garlic, and cracked black pepper. Give it a nice toss. Let this cook on medium heat, stirring along the way, until the onions soften, about 5-7 minutes.

  DO NOT BROWN OR CARAMELIZE THE ONIONS; IT WILL TOTALLY RUIN THIS RECIPE.  

Remove the plate from the mushrooms, and add the onion mixture to the pot. Add in the salt and white wine. Stir. Cover the pot and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for about 8 hours. Yes, 8 hours. 

At about 6 hours in, remove the cover and bring the heat up to medium. Then cook for the remaining 2 hours.

The broth will reduce a bit, which is normal. You'll have plenty of broth, so do not water it down.
Here . . . .  this one's for you.

CHEF MIKE TOLD ME, "From my years of experience running mushroom stands  at 20-something Renaissance Fairs around the country, the amount of salt has not been an issue."

A partial list of U.S. Renaissance Faires That Sold Chef Mike's Garlic Butter Mushrooms.
All Faire, Lacey, WA
Bristol Renaissance Faire, Kenosha, WI
Canterbury Renaissance Faire, Oregon
Carolina Renaissance Festival, Concord, NC
Carolina Renaissance Festival, Huntersville, NC
Central Coast Renaissance Festival, San Luis Obispo, CA
Colorado Renaissance Festival,  Larkspur,  CO
Glastonbury Renaissance Faire, Toledo, OR
Koroneburg Renaissance Festival, Corona, CA
Koroneburg Renaissance Festival, Los Angeles, A.
Maine Renaissance Faire,Acton,ME
Mid-Michigan Renaissance Festival, Vassar, MI
Midsummer Renaissance Faire, Ansonia, CT
Newbourne Village Renaissance Faire, Chippewa Falls, WI
North Dakota Renaissance Faire,  Fargo,  ND
Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival, West Newton, PA
Pride Renaissance Tour, Lansing, MI
Renaissance Fair, Orlando, FL
Renaissance Festival, Austin, TX
Santa Fe Renaissance Fair, Santa Fe,  NM
Sterling Renaissance Festival, Sterling, NY
Upstate Renaissance Faire, Greer, SC
Vermont Renaissance Faire, Stowe, VT
Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire, Snohomish, WA
West Virginia Renaissance Festival, Lewisburg, WV

By Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D., Chicago.

Please come back and tell us how your mushrooms turned out.

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this! Did he give you the recipe directly?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for this. Can't believe I found it with search "those mushrooms from the Renaissance faire." I've been enjoying these since the 70s as well. Now if I only had some of that amazing ice cold sassafras to go with it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Making these right now. I will report back at 10PM to let you know how they turn out! We go to Bristol and get these every year- I hate mushrooms but I eat the HECK out of these when we go!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I tried these a couple months ago... So so good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just found this page and made the mushrooms. Yep, they're still delicious!

    Found out partway in that I was out of white wine so used a dryer red instead and it worked just fine.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My broth is super light compared to what I get at the Faire. Wondering if beef broth has since been added to the recipe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing has changed in this recipe. It sounds like it didn't simmer long enough.

      Delete
  7. You’re right - I realized I still had 2 hours to go. They turned out spot on!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This recipe is completely spot on. I’ve actually used leftover broth from the mushrooms to make beef vegetable soup too. Liquid gold.

    ReplyDelete

The Digital Research Library of Illinois History Journal™ is RATED PG-13. Please comment accordingly. Advertisements, spammers and scammers will be removed.