Dad’s Steakhouse Sautéed Mushrooms owe a huge debt to my beloved’s mom who used to make a mushroom sauce for barbequed steak that was to die for. Early on in our blissful wedded life my spouse’s mom taught me the recipe. I gradually pared it down a bit to suit my own desire to find something to take the place of sautéed mushrooms that used to adorn main courses at a certain steakhouse I used to work at a million years ago. But I stuck close to the basic flavour palette. Daddy loves him some buttery mushrooms sautéed with onions and Worcestershire but he knows when something ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
But, I could never seem to duplicate the taste, try as I might. I can’t tell you how many times I checked the recipe with Dolores just to make certain I hadn’t skipped anything critical. But, it was always the same thing… nothing was missing from the recipe that would make a difference. I guess I just wasn’t a very good cook.
Then, one fateful weekend our children’s grandmother was visiting. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind whipping up ‘the sauce’ while I zoomed around getting everything else ready for a big family BBQ.
So, having a minute to spare, I watched her as out came the cast iron skillet, the onion, the mushrooms, the garlic, Worcestershire, and the soy. Into the pan went the butter, the bacon grease, the…. wait a minute!!!!!! The bacon grease????
There I stood… staring at her back while I called out her name in bitter accusation: ‘Dolores…. you scamp!!!!’ The Cheshire grin on her face told me all I needed to know. I’d been had… by a pro. Ten years it took me to catch her in the act of using her TOP SECRET ingredient.
My dear friend Dolores has since passed and left me all her recipes. She’s sorely missed and fondly, lovingly remembered every day… but, I can’t help but wonder each time I look in that box… which secret ingredients did she leave out?
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