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Joe Beef’s Big Beautiful Roasted Mushrooms

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  I’ve already waxed poetic over Joe Beef, that phenomenal Montreal restaurant where we craved everything we ate.  Almost everything we tried was truly over the top.  And Andrew and I were not the least bit surprised to see that “The World According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of sorts” tops most Top Ten Cookbooks of 2011 lists.   The book is just a delight and just as delightful as Frederic Morin whom we were so pleased to meet when we ate there.  I literally bought the book the first day it came out in the US.  And of course, I couldn’t wait to try the recipes that he and his partner, David McMillan have put together for their readers.  But it may come as a surprise that the first recipe I tried was one for simple large white mushrooms. And I thought, “if we’re doing 12 days of Christmas recipes, why not include this one?”  It’s a perfect accompaniment to any holiday roast—beef, chicken, pork or lamb.

The mushrooms used in this recipe aren’t at all fancy. They’re those enormous plain white mushrooms that Italian Americans traditionally stuff with sausage around this time of year. I found a huge big container of them at Costco. Chefs McMillan and Morin say they remind them of culinary school and la bonne cuisine francaise. 
They refer to their size as being “banker watch-size mushrooms—as big as you can find.”  We prepared these in our cast iron frying pan as directed.  Now the original recipe called for using fresh garlic flowers. I scoured several markets but these a so far out of season at this point, I couldn’t find any at all. However the Joe Beef boys allowed a substitution of good old garlic cloves.  With the gentle smoke of the paprika, the hint of thyme, these mushrooms are beautiful to look at and delicious to eat.  Here’s the recipe:

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