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[Modernist Cuisine] Mushroom Stock (6•6)


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I have the same question. I wanted to try making the Mushroom-Bacon Cappuccino on 4-275, which calls for mushroom jus on page 2-348. That in turn calls for mushroom stock, and refers you to page 2-296, but mushroom stock is nowhere to be found there, nor is it listed in the Vol. 5 or KM index.

Perhaps lachyg is correct, and you are supposed to know to substitute mushrooms for the vegetables. But he is correct -- water is scaled at 100%, and vegetable oil at 5%, but the vegetables/mushrooms aren't scaled at all! So how much are you supposed to use?

I bought the second printing and sold the first one I had, in order to clear up some of these problems. But so far, I haven't found any errata for the second printing, yet one is obviously needed.

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Okay! I've finally found the mushroom stock recipe after much scouring of the book. I ended up finding mushroom stock referenced in volume 5, in the mushroom omelette's index page, it say it's on page 129. So I went to page 129, couldn't find a 'Mushroom Stock' title, yet saw mushrooms within the ingredients for the mixed grains recipe, and delved further.

Turns out that mushroom stock is within that recipe! It's:

  • 2kg of button mushrooms
  • 100g grapeseed oil
  • 800g of water.

Instructions are within the recipe.

So what do you think? Think this is the mushroom stock that is referenced everywhere else within the book?
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I think you win the sleuthing prize!

When I first saw your post, I thought, "Wow, that seems like a lot of grapeseed oil!" But on looking up the recipe, I see that they are coating the mushrooms in oil, roasting them at 175C/350F until golden (30 minutes), then simmering in water for an hour, and straining.

From a culinary linguistics standpoint, this makes more sense, because a broth is a finished, highly flavored essence in it's own right, whereas a stock is used in combination with other ingredients to make the finished dish.

However, the differences are interesting. If you scale up the mushroom broth ingredients to the same scale as the mushroom stock, you would have 2kg of mushrooms (Crimini, in this case), 3575 g of water(!), 121 g of olive oil, and 529 g of shallots. Obviously the shallots would add a lot of flavor, but I'm not sure that it would be a mushroom flavor. The recipes differ in that the broth is sauteed, vs. roasted, but I doubt that makes much difference in the taste. Likewise, I don't know that pressure cooking for 15 minutes vs. simmering for 30 minutes would make all that much difference.

I thought I would double-check this recipe with Escoffier's Le Guide Culinaire, but surprisingly, I couldn't find any kind of a mushroom stock listed, even under morels or champignons. Cream sauces, and other preparations, such as a mushroom sauce made from Demi-glace, yes, but not a separate stock.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, since you asked, in my forthcoming class I'm combining the oxtail consommé recipe from MC with the mushroom broth and reverse spherification. Be prepared for a lot of work!

Oxtail Consommé With Reverse-Spherification Mushroom Balls

Oxtail consommé: Sear 750 g Spanish onions (3 large onions) in a little butter, cut side down in a non-stick pan, until light olden, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Add 75 ml of water, and vacuum seal with the seared onions. Cook sous vide in an 85°C bath for seven hours. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Strain, discarding onion solids. Reserve 250 g of onion jus.

Brown 1.5 kg of oxtail, jointed, in 30 g of neutral oil over high heat on all sides until golden, about 15 minutes. Combine the browned oxtail with 2 kg of unsalted brown beef cooking stock (store-bought or home-made) and 250 g onion juice in a pressure cooker. Add 250 g of gin; 250 g of veal (or beef) marrow; 150 g of button mushrooms, thinly sliced; 100 g of carrots, peeled and thinly sliced; and 30 g of celery stalk, peeled and thinly sliced. Pressure-cook at a gauge pressure of 1 bar/15 psi[1] for 2 hours. Reserve 2 liters of broth, enough to serve 10 people with 200 ml each. Your dog will love the meaty bones.

Chill the oxtail broth to below 40°C, so the methylcellulose will dissolve. Mix 200 g of the broth with 2 g of Super methylcellulose SGA 150 (Dow brand)[2]. Whisk into ground beef to make a paste. Mix paste into remaining oxtail broth for consommé. Simmer consommé on low until clarified, about 45 minutes. Strain the broth through a double layer of cheesecloth and a fine strainer.

Chill, and skim off the 2-3mm of congealed fat that will rise to the surface. If your time and patience permits, take the strained, chilled, and skimmed broth, and simmer once again for about 10 minutes. You will be surprised at the amount of methylcellulose still in the broth, and the extent to which it is gelling and capturing even more particles once it begins to simmer. Strain the broth again through double cheesecloth and a fine strainer, and reserve.

Prepare 250 ml of mushroom broth by sautéing 37 g of shallots, thinly sliced, in 8.5 g of olive oil until golden, until golden. Add 250 g of water and 140 g of Crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced. Pressure-cook the mushrooms, shallots, and water at 1 bar/15 psi (adjusted for altitude) for 45 minutes. Reserve 250 ml. Repeat as required to serve four mushroom balls per person.

Let cool, and add 2.5 g of calcium lactate gluconate (Texturas GLUCO) to 250 ml of mushroom broth. Pour into ice trays that make 14 spherical ice balls (from gourmac.com), place the lid on top, and hold together with rubber bands. Put in the freezer for at least six hours.

Prepare a 0.5% sodium alginate bath (Texturas ALGIN) by adding 2.5 g of sodium alginate to 200 g of distilled water, blending, and then add 300 g more distilled water. Keep in the refrigerator 12-24 hours, in order to remove any air bubbles.

To serve, reheat the oxtail broth. Drop the frozen mushroom balls into the sodium alginate bath for five minutes[3]. Use a sieve or slotted spoon to remove the balls, and wash briefly in cold water. Spoon four cold mushroom balls per person into a slender champagne flute, and fill the flute with hot oxtail broth, approximately 200 ml. Serve the broth and mushroom balls immediately, in order to provide the guests a contrasting hot/cold combination.


[1] Note: the Modernist Cuisine stock/browning recipes call for 15 psi, but that is relative to a sea level ambient pressure. In Taos or Santa Fe, at an altitude of 7000 ft., we need 18.5 psi to reach the desired temperature (an additional 0.5 psi per 1000 ft.) The only practical way of achieving this pressure and temperature without modifying the pressure regulator weights on a conventional pressure cooker (and thereby voiding the warranty) is with an autoclave or sterilizer such as the 24-liter 1925X All American Sterilizer manufactured by Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry. The disadvantage of this approach is that it requires close monitoring to ensure that the pressure stays at the desired level, and neither climbs to high or sinks too low. This problem cries out for the use of a PID controller such as the Sous Vide Magic from Fresh Meals Solutions, with a sensor that can monitor the water/steam temperature inside the sterilizer, and stabilize it. This is still a work in progress.

[2] There are five kinds of methylcellulose sold by Dow Chemical: Type SGA, Type A, Type E, Type F, and Type K

Each type has a different gelling temperature. Each type has a different grade with various viscosities.

The Type SGA gels between 38-44 degrees C, the Type A gels between 50-55 degrees C, the Type E gels between 58-63 degrees C, the Type F gels between 62-68 degrees C, and the Type K gels between 70-90 degrees C. The Type SGA has a higher viscosity, whereas the Type F has a lower viscosity. There is also the Texturas ‚“Metil” product, which is based on methylcellulose, but of unknown composition. The difference between these various products might make a difference if you were trying to gel something like hot ice cream, but for fining the oxtail broth, I doubt that it makes much difference. Although the Modernist Cuisine recipe calls for Type SGA, I have substituted the Texuras METIL with good results. Whether using SGA would eliminate the need for the second fining step, I don‚’t yet know.

[3] Most recipes specify three minutes for the sodium alginate bath, but in my experience that didn‚’t produce a firm enough ball.

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Thank you for the great recipe and the good information aboutmethyl­cel­lu­lose

Robert Jueneman said:

[3]Most recipes specify three minutes for the sodium alginate bath, but in my experience that didn‚’t produce a firm enough ball.

It's probably because you're putting the frozen ball in the bath. What is the temperature of your alginate bath? Is there still frozen broth in the balls when serving? You're supposed to drink the consommé and balls or do you eat it with a spoon?

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The idea was to have a contrasting hot and cold, so the con­sommé is served in a champagne flute, with three or four balls floating it, which you drink (or use an ice tea spoon -- your choice).. But when I made it, the balls were a little too fragile, and they warmed up too quickly, so I was going to try an ice water bath. But perhaps that would slow down the reverse-spherification action, so maybe I need to leave them in even longer.

I also think I'll try reducing the stock a bit more, as you did -- I cheated and used store-bought organic mushroom stock, instead of making my own.

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