We slowly crept down the mountain road searching the woods for our prey. Suddenly Alex screams out “Puff balls!” and I slam on the brakes. Before the car even comes to a stop the passenger door swings open. Alex is pulling his knife from his pocket before his feet hit the ground and he quickly charges the little white balls on the side of the road. I’m shocked at how similar mushroom hunting is to hunting game, only thing missing is the gun barrel resting on the floor board (at the ready). We even got the car stuck (twice) in a snow bank. Alex calls his fellow mushroom foragers mushroom nerds. Despite all the similarities of hunting and mushroom hunting, I can’t imagine Randy calling us all game geeks in elk camp.
Katie and I had another successful mushroom trip. Not as fruitful as Alex, but who’s counting mushrooms? Here’s what we made with our find.
Dexter Roast Beef with Morel Mushroom Gravy.
Like all good meat, the Dexter Beef was given to us by a really cool couple that raises this beautiful heritage bovine in Dry Creek about a mile from my Hill Rd. garden. Katie and I met the herd just as the calves were arriving. What a wonderful operation.
I cooked the roast “slow and low” in a enamel cast iron dutch oven like my mother and grandmother suggested.
250 degrees for 3 and 1/2 hours.
Salt, Pepper and fresh thyme. 1 halved onion.
At 2 hours remove onion and thyme sprigs. Drain drippings into a bowl. Let cool.
The Dextor Beef had no fat to spoon from the top!
Add beets, carrots and greens to pot roast to cook for the last hour.
In heated skillet melt butter and add morels. Salt, Pepper and garlic. Cook down until mushrooms are good and cooked and 1/2 the liquid is cooked off. Add a pinch of flour and roast drippings. Cook down until thick. Add a bit of crushed red pepper if you like.