Meet the ingredients - Mushroom Duxelle

Contrast Brasserie's new a la carte menu offers many delights for meat eaters and vegetarians alike.

Our home-made ravioli filled with fresh truffle and mushroom duxelles topped with a Contrast favourite - the crispy hen's egg, is a dish that will appeal to all.  But today we ask - what is mushroom duxelles?

Duxelles is said to have been created by the 17th-century French chef François Pierre La Varenne (1615–1678) and to have been named after his employer, Nicolas Chalon du Blé, Marquis d'Uxelles, Maréchal de France.

Duxelles is a finely chopped  mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onions or shallots, and herbs such as thyme, parsley and black pepper, sautéed in butter and reduced to a paste. Cream is sometimes used, and some recipes add a dash of madeira or sherry. 

Some classical cookbooks define duxelles as dehydrated fungi, used as stuffings and pastry fillings. According to Auguste Escoffier, the mushrooms were dehydrated in order to enhance flavor and minimize water content. When fresh mushrooms are cooked, they let off enormous amounts of vapour in relation to their size. Fresh mushrooms used as stuffings or pastry fillings could therefore build up pressure inside the dish or pastry, causing it to crack or even explode.

We've combined our duxelles with deliciously aromatic fresh truffle and packed it into homemade ravioli for a delightful vegetarian starter. See the full menu here...