Borowik szlachetny (Boletus Edulis) can be found in Poland’s coniferous forests from the beginning of June to around November each year. They are perhaps the most sought after of all of Poland’s edible fungi, highly valued for their wonderful taste. Borowik are suitable for eating straight after picking, pickling, and drying. Many Polish families pick and dry a supply for use throughout the year in traditional dishes like Bigos (Hunters Stew) or Polish Wild Mushroom Soup and for use in various Christmas and Easter dishes.
Here is an adapted version of my Grandmother’s recipe for Mushroom Sauce. Use as a sauce or gravy with any dish.
Polish Mushroom Sauce
25 gms of dried Borowik mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Put dried mushrooms into a bowl, pour 1 cup of cold water and allow to stand for several hours or better still overnight. Remove mushrooms from the water (keeping mushroom water back for later). Dry on a paper towel. Fry in oil and butter for about 15 minutes. Add the diced onion and fry until it they are soft and delicate. Season with salt and pepper.
Put fried mushrooms and onion into a saucepan with the mushroom water you kept back earlier, season with salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms until liquid has evaporated. Add the chopped parsley and cream and warm. Serve immediately. Use as much cream as you need for sauce.
You can use fresh Chanterelle mushrooms if you have access to these.
Related content: another Polish recipe for delicious wild mushroom sauce.
Gnomes and mushrooms on a postcard of the castle area of Meseritz (Miedzyrzecz)!
Many Poles spend a lot of time gathering wild mushrooms in the vast forests of Poland. Probably the two most popular mushrooms being Borowik (Steinpilzen / Porcini) and Podgrzybek (Bay Bolete). And any surplus mushrooms of both varieties not used fresh are dried for use throughout the year. When stored in an airtight container dried mushrooms will keep perfectly well for up to 12 months.
To reconstitute and use dried mushrooms in a recipe
Place the mushrooms in a bowl. Leaving the container about half empty. Cover the mushrooms with water (or wine). Steep overnight. Drain water and use. The mushroom water can also be used in may recipes, so don’t be too hasty in throwing away the water!
If time is limited hot but not boiling water can be added to dried mushrooms instead of cold. The mushrooms should then be ready for use in a recipe in about 30 minutes.
Dried wild mushrooms increase in volume by almost four times when re-hydrated. Therefore, 50 grams of dried mushrooms will provide almost 200 grams of mushrooms after water has been added.