How To Cook Beefsteak Mushroom Tartare At Home

Recently, we went out foraging and spending time surrounded by nature, and this was my first time finding and trying beefsteak mushrooms.

Now, if you’re wondering what a beefsteak mushroom, scientifically known as Fistula hepatica, is, let me explain. It’s a distinct type of mushroom, distinguished by its reddish color that deepens as it matures. Imagine a mushroom with a rusty red top and a lighter beneath. Pretty awesome, right?

These interesting fungi appear throughout the autumn, most commonly on oaks and other trees. They are also known to leave a stain called brown oak. What’s even more intriguing is the common name: beefsteak mushroom. Do you want to guess? It’s because their color is strikingly similar to raw beef.

I’ve put together a simple yet delicious recipe using these beefsteak mushrooms. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 or 2 Beefsteak mushrooms
  • 1 apple
  • 1 Heirloom tomato
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 or 4 chillies
  • Chives and chives flowers

How to Cook Beefsteak Mushroom Tartare

Step 1: Prepare the Mushrooms

Give your beefsteak mushrooms a good clean, remove the outer part and any hard bits, and chop them up into small cubes. You’re aiming for a texture similar to traditional beef tartare.

Step 2: Marinate the Mushrooms

Get a medium bowl and toss in your diced mushrooms along with apple, heirloom tomato, soy sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice. Give it a good stir to make sure everything gets a beautiful, even coating.

Step 3: Seasoning

Now, it’s time to jazz it up with some chopped chives and flowers. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Step 4: Serve it Up

Time to plate up! Arrange your mushroom tartare on a serving plate and garnish it with a sprig of parsley for a pop of color. Serve it with some crackers, and voila, you have a mouth-watering, unique dish right at home!

Note: Beefsteak mushroom tartare is not recommended for storage. The broken-down flesh of the mushrooms creates an ideal environment for bacterial growth. It’s best to prepare and consume the tartare right after making it to enjoy it at its freshest and safest.

Growing Beefsteak Mushrooms in Your Garden

Beefsteak mushrooms (Fistulina hepatica) are relatively easy to grow, making them an excellent choice for gardeners of all levels. Of course, you can forage like what I did but if you’re keen to planting them, here’s a simple guide to get you started:

1. Finding the Right Spot:

Beefsteak mushrooms thrive in cool, shaded areas with high humidity. They naturally grow on decaying oak, chestnut, or sweet chestnut trees, so if you have one of these in your garden, you’re in luck.

2. Preparing the Substrate:

You can grow beefsteak mushrooms on logs or stumps. Choose freshly cut hardwood logs, about 3 to 4 feet in length and 8 to 12 inches in diameter. Avoid logs that have been sitting for more than a month, as they might have lost too much moisture.

3. Inoculation:

Drill holes into the logs about 6 inches apart in a diamond pattern. Insert mushroom spawns (available at your local garden store) into the holes and seal them with wax to prevent contamination.

4. Maintenance:

Keep the logs in a shaded, humid area. Water them regularly, especially during dry spells. Patience is key, as it can take several months to a year for mushrooms to start fruiting.

5. Harvesting:

When your mushrooms finally appear, harvest them by gently twisting and pulling. They are best enjoyed fresh, so try to use them soon after picking.

So, who knew a day out in nature would lead to such a delicious discovery? Beefsteak mushroom’s rich, savory taste and unique texture are sure to win over any food enthusiast. I hope you’ll feel inspired to try this recipe and maybe even go on your own little foraging adventure, too!

Happy cooking!