Boreas Inn’s Wild Mushroom and Sausage Gravy with Buttery Chive Biscuits
November 10, 2011 by: Susan Goldsmith
This is Susie’s favorite side-dish. That’s right….there’s more! We often harvest the Porcini (King Boletus) Mushrooms within feet of the inn. When Bill is not out tromping around in the dunes foraging, we have two professional foragers supplying us with our local wild mushrooms in addition to other bounty from the area. Boreas Inn sits in the primary sand dunes next to the Pacific Ocean in historic Long Beach, Washington. Noted for fine breakfast dining, ocean views, the most luxurious beds for a dreamy nights’ sleep and beautiful surroundings, this Long Beach Washington Bed and Breakfast has class without pretense!
Wild Mushroom and Sausage Gravy
1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
3/4 pound wild mushrooms, brushed clean, trimmed and coarsely chopped * (see note)
1/4 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons fresh minced chive
2 cups half-and-half or milk
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons sherry (optional)
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter cut into pieces
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons fresh minced chives
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly butter (or spray) a heavy baking sheet. For the biscuits, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times to blend. Add the butter and pulse until it’s finely chopped and mixture has the consistency of coarse cornmeal. (You can also cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives.). Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the milk and chives and stir until the batter is evenly mixed–or keep the ingredients in the processor and very gently pulse. Don’t over-mix or you will have tough, heavy biscuits!
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough into a circle about six inches across and one inch thick. Cut the dough into quarters, setting the biscuits on the baking sheet with one inch or so between them. Bake the biscuits until they are puffed and lightly brown on top, 12-15 minutes. Transfer them to a rack to cool.
Cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium heat until cooked through and lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Stir often and break up the sausage chunks as they cook. Spoon out and discard excess fat. Add the mushrooms and onion; increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and any liquid they give off is evaporated, 5-7 minutes. Add the four and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, stirring so that the flour evenly coats the sausage and mushrooms. Slowly stir in the milk or half and half and cook until the gravy has thickened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the sherry just before serving.
To serve, cut each of the biscuits in half horizontally and set the bottom halves on the individual plates. Generously spoon the mushroom-sausage gravy over, top with the top of the biscuit. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish the plate with fresh herbs or edible flowers. Makes 4 servings.
*I prefer to use 1/2 pound dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted in a cup or so of water. Drain the mushrooms and save the liquid. Make the wild mushroom and sausage gravy the night before and then use the saved liquid to thin the gravy prior to heating and serving. The liquid adds more depth to the wild mushroom flavor of the dish. You can double or triple the recipe and freeze. Freeze extra unbaked biscuits and bake as needed. Delicious!