In honor of the 2013 Wild Mushroom Show, hosted every October in Bellingham by the Northwest Mushroomers Association, I wanted to create a mushroom recipe. The main question in my mind was about which type of mushroom to use. The list wasn’t as long as you might imagine. While there are multitudes of edible mushroom varieties that grow wild in this area, and I love hunting for them and looking at them, I have zero skills at identifying them. I sadly crossed all wild mushrooms off my list.
Cascadia Mushrooms (Bellingham) always has a table at the Mushroom Show where they offer their mushroom growing kits. They also are a regular vendor at the Bellingham Farmers Market, so their fresh mushrooms are easily accessible. I decided to use some of their shiitakes for this recipe. It’s a sturdy mushroom with a meaty texture and has a fairly strong earthy flavor that can stand up to longer cooking times and blends well with both vegetables and meat.
Short ribs are a tougher cut of beef but richly flavored, so slow braising is my preferred way to cook them. I like to cook mine with the bones in for extra nutrition. Basically in this recipe you end up with a bone broth in the pot flavored by a vegetable mirepoix and the mushrooms all around the succulent meat. By the time the ribs are done they will be literally falling away from the bones, so the bones are easily removed before serving, if you prefer.
Then there’s the extra pleasure of a house filled with the appetite provoking smells of this cooking for three hours. I don’t know if that enhances the flavor or not, but it certainly enhances the enjoyment!
- 3 lbs beef short ribs with bones (Second Wind Farm, Everson)
- 1 Tbsp hazelnut oil (Holmquist Hazelnut Orchards, Lynden)
- 1 onion, chopped (Hopewell Farm, Everson)
- 2 carrots, chopped (Hopewell Farm, Everson)
- 2 stalks celery, chopped (K&M Red River Farm, Ferndale)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped (Cascadia Mushrooms, Bellingham)
- 2 cups beef broth (homemade with beef bones from Second Wind Farm, Everson)
- 2 springs rosemary (home garden, Lummi Island)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- On the stove top, put the hazelnut oil in an oven-proof Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the short ribs and sear for a few minutes on every side until meat is nicely browned. Remove meat from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- In the same hot pan, add the onion, carrots and celery. Sprinkle with salt. Sauté for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute for another 10 minutes or so, until the mushrooms begin to soften.
- Add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat.
- Lay the sprigs of rosemary on top of the vegetables. Add ribs back in on top of all. Cover pan and put into the oven.
- Braise in oven for 3 hours. When done, the meat should pull away from the bones easily. Remove bones with a pair of tongs before serving, if desired.