An earthy and rustic side dish needs nothing more than a few mushrooms, shallots, and some basic aromatics. Oh, and butter; lots of butter!
For many, many years, much to the dismay of everyone who’s ever cooked for me, I’ve hated mushrooms. I could not fathom the idea of willingly and intentionally placing a fungus in my mouth! Furthermore, I couldn’t understand why those of you who enjoy eating mushrooms would do it either!
I’m sure it was the source of much frustration for some people. Oh, and I was not shy about letting you know either! If you served me something with mushrooms in it, I would painstakingly comb through the dish with my fork and remove every piece of mushroom I could find.
It took me years to figure out that I actually did like mushrooms, and that I had been brainwashed into thinking that mushrooms were these pale, brown, slimy, button-looking things that came out of a can. Once I began to experiment with fresh mushrooms, my opinion of them changed rather quickly.
I can’t place blame on anyone for not using fresh mushrooms. I grew up in Newfoundland, and I know that canned mushrooms were all my parents could purchase at the time. I remember it well – there were sliced mushrooms, or if you were being very frugal, you could get stems and pieces in a can too.
Mom would often fry canned mushrooms with chopped onion together in her cast iron skillet. It would just be those two ingredients with a little butter, some salt, and ground black pepper. She would spoon it over the top of fried or grilled steak or pork chops. It looked so good, but I wouldn’t even try it.
Brown Butter Mushrooms and Shallots is an updated version of my mom’s home-style fried mushrooms and onions. I’m using fresh cremini mushrooms instead of canned mushrooms, of course. And, I’ve also used shallots rather than onion. The onion flavour is not as strong and shallots taste a little more sweet.
The browning of the butter adds a depth of flavour that you won’t get without taking that one extra step. And of course the aromatics and the savoury, sweet tang of the Worcestershire sauce, coupled with the fresh thyme leaves makes this rustic dish all the more special. I’m sure mom would love this updated version just as much as I do!
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Brown Butter Mushrooms and Shallots
- 2 pounds cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 4 large shallots, halved and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and allow the butter to bubble and sizzle until the colour turns a light golden/brown colour.
- Add the mushrooms, shallots, salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat with the butter.
- Saute the mushrooms and shallots until deep brown in colour – about 12 minutes – stirring often.
- Once the mushrooms are browned, add the Worcestershire sauce and thyme leaves. Toss to combine and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Garnish and serve immediately.
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