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Middle-earth Menu: “Mushroom Trenchers”

By Astrid Tuttle Winegar

You can bet a character like Frodo Baggins would be well versed in simmering some freshly picked mushrooms in a gorgeous, savory, brown gravy—it is the perfect accompaniment to a steak or a thick slice of buttered bread. In Medieval times, your plate just might be a stale piece of bread (and would now be called a “trencher”), covered with whatever was cooking in the kitchen. If your trencher became soggy, you could be selfish and eat it yourself, or you could give it to the poor or to any dogs that happened to be hanging around. I know my dog certainly appreciates getting to lick the plate clean…

Please follow this link to my blog for the Savory Seasoning recipe! Or, I’ll make you a batch—head over to my Etsy Shop Elegant Sufficiencies and order your own: Savory Seasoning in a Jar or (the cheaper version) Savory Seasoning in a Ziploc Bag.

Mushroom Trenchers”

1 tablespoon salted butter

½ pound fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced

14½-ounce can low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour or Wondra

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon “Shire” Seasoning (Savory Seasoning; see above)

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet

4 slices of fresh bread, about 1″ thick (such as sourdough, French, or Italian; about 4″ x 5″)

Some soft salted butter or spreadable margarine

In a 3-quart deep skillet, melt the butter over high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté over rather high heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk together the broth, flour, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings. Add to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium/low and cook 15-20 minutes, uncovered, until it thickens to a nice sauce; stir occasionally. Adjust seasonings, if desired.

Meanwhile, toast the bread slices, then spread each with butter or margarine. Place on plate and ladle mushrooms and gravy equally all over toasts. Cover and refrigerate leftovers separately. Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side dish.

This is known as “Hlökk’s Trenchers” in my cookbook.

Photo of author Astrid Tuttle Winegar, creator of Middle-Earth Menu: Sweet and Savory Pork RoastAstrid Tuttle Winegar is the author of Cooking for Halflings & Monsters: 111 Comfy, Cozy Recipes for Fantasy-Loving Souls, which is now available from Oloris Publishing and Amazon! For now, she is mostly telling a culinary Middle-earth story here on Legendarium. Astrid has loved C. S. Lewis since childhood, J. R. R. Tolkien since middle and high school, all Star things, both Trek and Wars, all things Whedon, and many other things besides… She lives in the enchanted city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and dog. Visit her website for more information: Astrid Tuttle Winegar | Cooking for Halflings & Monsters. Staff Reporter.

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