Horse Mushrooms and how to cook them.
Updated: Sep 9
Horse Mushrooms always get my heart pumping. You normally see them before any other mushrooms floating above the green grass like huge white UFO’s. This visibility is due to their size and this is why they are perfect for stuffing! This recipe couples the Horse Mushrooms with strong flavours and is quick and easy to make, perfect for a hungry snack on your return from collecting them! You’ll want large Horse Mushrooms but not so large that they have started to flatten out.
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The Horse Mushroom
The horse mushroom, scientifically known as Agaricus arvensis, is a large edible fungus that belongs to the Agaricus genus. Similar to the field mushroom, it is commonly found in grassy areas, pastures, and meadows across the UK, Europe and North America.
Here are some key characteristics of the horse mushroom:
Appearance: The cap of a horse mushroom is typically large, ranging from 8 to 20 centimetres in diameter. It is initially white but can turn pale yellow or buff as it matures. The cap is smooth and has a slightly rounded shape, often with a prominent bump in the centre. The gills underneath the cap are initially pink but turn dark brown as the mushroom matures.
Smell and Taste: The horse mushroom has a mild, pleasant odour and a delicate, nutty flavour. The taste is often described as similar to that of button mushrooms but with a slightly richer and earthier profile.
Edibility: Horse mushrooms are edible and highly sought after for culinary purposes. They have a fleshy texture and are known for their ability to retain their shape and flavour when cooked. They can be used in various dishes, including soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta, and risottos.
Identification: It's important to note that while horse mushrooms are generally considered safe to eat, it is crucial to properly identify them to avoid any potential confusion with toxic or inedible mushrooms. If you are not an experienced forager, it's recommended to seek guidance from an expert or consult reliable field guides before consuming wild mushrooms.
Nutritional Value: Horse mushrooms are a good source of essential nutrients. They provide dietary fibre, vitamins (such as vitamin D, B vitamins, and vitamin C), minerals (including potassium, phosphorus, and selenium), and antioxidants.
Overall, horse mushrooms are valued for their size, mild flavour, and culinary versatility. Whether you choose to forage them or find them in markets, they can be a delightful addition to various dishes, bringing a unique taste to your meals.
Preserve your haul, click the link to learn how to dry your horse mushrooms.
How to Cook Horse Mushrooms
Cooking horse mushrooms is relatively simple and can be done in a variety of ways. Here's a basic method for cooking horse mushrooms:
Cleaning: Start by cleaning the horse mushrooms. Gently brush off any dirt or debris using a soft brush or cloth. Avoid washing them as they can absorb water and become soggy.
Slicing: Slice the horse mushrooms into even pieces. You can choose to slice them thinly or into thicker slices, depending on your preference and the recipe you're following.
Frying: Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a small amount of oil or butter. Once the oil is hot, add the sliced horse mushrooms to the pan.
Seasoning: Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the mushrooms to season them. You can also add other herbs and spices according to your taste preferences, such as garlic, thyme, or rosemary.
Cooking: Fry the horse mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. They should start to release their moisture and turn golden brown.
Optional Additions: If desired, you can add additional ingredients such as onions, garlic, or other vegetables to the pan. Fry them along with the mushrooms until they are cooked to your liking.
Serve: Once the horse mushrooms are cooked to your desired texture and flavour, remove them from the heat and serve them as a side dish, topping for meats, as part of a larger recipe or simply on toast.
Stuffed and Baked Horse Mushrooms Recipe
2 Large but round Horse mushrooms
Half a red onion
1 Tbsp Butter
1 Tbsp Stilton
1 Tbsp Breadcrumbs
From the garden:
Small bunch of herbs including Parsley, Coriander, Dill, Chives and Thyme or you could go with Wild herbs and use Sorrel, Wild Marjoram, Cow Parsley, Water Mint and Wild Chives
Get the oven on to 200C.
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Start by cleaning the Horse Mushrooms, remove the stalks and chop, reserving them until later. Next place the Horse mushrooms onto a baking tray, gill side up. As the mushrooms are quite big we want to be generous with the flavour so divide the butter into two and add the butter to each mushroom. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place a sprig of fresh thyme in both the mushrooms (if the Thyme stalks are a little woody pulls the leaves off and place just the leaves in the base of each of the Horse Mushroom caps.
Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Whilst the Horse Mushrooms are baking, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, fry the chopped onion for a minute or so and the add the chopped mushroom stalks and cook until soft.
Chop your herbs.
Once the mushrooms have cooked for 10 minutes, spoon the onion and mushroom stalk mixture into the two baked mushrooms and sprinkle each of the mushrooms with the herbs reserving half. Break the Stilton with your fingertips and place on top of the mushrooms. Finally sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the cheese, finish with a final swirl of Olive Oil and then put back in the oven until for about 5 minutes, don’t remove until the cheese is melted and bubbling!
To serve, place the mushrooms onto a serving plate and sprinkle over the remaining chopped fresh herbs.
Enjoy with a glass of scrumpy!
Bonus Horse Mushroom Recipe
Creamy Horse Mushroom Pasta
450 grams horse mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
225 grams pasta (linguine or fettuccine work well)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
240 ml double cream
120 grams grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and sauté until fragrant and the onion becomes translucent.
Add the horse mushrooms to the frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until they release their moisture and start to brown.
Pour in the double cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, allowing the cream to thicken slightly.
Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
Add the cooked pasta to the frying pan and toss to coat the pasta evenly with the creamy mushroom sauce.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and toss again.
Serve the creamy horse mushroom pasta hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.
Enjoy your delicious creamy horse mushroom pasta!
Eating and cooking horse mushrooms can be a wonderful culinary experience. Horse mushrooms are safe to consume and highly sought after for their mild and pleasant flavour. They have a fleshy texture that holds up well during cooking, making them versatile for use in different dishes. Their taste is often described as delicate and nutty, adding a unique and enjoyable element to meals. When cooked, horse mushrooms retain their shape and aroma, making them a fantastic ingredient for soups, stews, stir-fries, pasta dishes, and risottos. Overall, horse mushrooms offer a delightful culinary experience with their mild flavour, fleshy texture, and the ability to enhance the taste of various dishes.
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