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Mushroom and Hamburger Gravy on Mashed Potatoes

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Upon opening the fridge and pondering what to make for dinner, we pulled out some ground beef, mushrooms, and potatoes. Dad devised this dish from a childhood memory of sloppy joes composed of ground beef and cream of mushroom soup on a bun. We don’t tend to stock our panty with canned soups, so Dad made a mushroom duxelles instead. We served it over mashed potatoes (grown in our garden last summer!) and the little ones gobbled it up. Everything in a duxelles is finely chopped so that it becomes almost indiscernible from the other ingredients in the pan. The picky eater couldn’t even spot the mushrooms to avoid.

Prep Time: 30 min.
Total Time: 40 min.
Makes: 6 servings

Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

1 ½ lb potatoes, quartered
¼ cup butter
1/2 cup milk
½ tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste

Fill a large pot with salted water, place potatoes in a steamer basket and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until very tender.

Meanwhile, as the potatoes cook you can prepare the mushroom duxelles.

Mushroom Duxelles

Ingredients

8 oz fresh mushroom (we used cremini)
2 Tbsp each of bacon fat and olive oil
2 medium shallots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves (no stems), about 6 sprigs
½ cup red wine (we recommended brandy or cognac)
1 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 lb lean ground beef

In a food processor, process mushrooms into small crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and set aside. Process the chopped onion and garlic into small crumbs.

Add bacon fat or olive oil to a skillet over medium and cook mushrooms until liquid is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the finely diced onion and garlic and the thyme leaves and cook for another 4 minutes. Deglaze the skillet with red wine, scraping off any bits and cook for another 4 minutes.

To the skillet, stir in the soy sauce, molasses, and cream until thickened, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl. This is your mushroom duxelles.

In the same pan, cook the ground beef until brown. When browned, reduce heat to low and add the mushroom duxelles back into pan and mix it with the cooked beef. Keep burner on low until ready to serve. If the mixture looks too dry, you can add more heavy cream, or if you prefer, some beef stock.

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When the potatoes are very tender, drain and return to the pot. Mash potatoes to break them apart. Add the butter and milk and continue mashing and mixing into the potatoes. For a creamier texture, you can add more milk.

Season potatoes with dried thyme and salt and pepper to taste

Serve the mushroom duxelles over the mashed potatoes.

A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin
Home is the nicest word there is. Laura Ingalls Wilder
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. Vincent Van Gogh