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Morels and Steak

Courtesy of LTB Northern Michigan
There are plentiful methods by which one may enjoy the most famed fungus of the north woods, the morel. Yet by far the best way to prepare morels for an unforgettable meal remains that used to produce what I call simply "My Yearly Dinner." I've hunted shrooms since before I could walk (Mom and Dad would carry me piggyback through the woods). And every year, the meals we would prepare using our morel bounty consisted of more or less the same elements. Emerging as a seasoned shroomer myself, I later narrowed this meal down to the perfect treat. It's a ten-step process that's very tricky (yeah, right), so read carefully...
Servings 2

Equipment

  • charcoal grill (or gas)
  • saute pan (2)
  • mixing bowl for potatoes

Ingredients
  

Steak Ingredients and optional Marinade

  • 2 16 oz high-quality steak porterhouse or better
  • soy sauce optional steak marinade
  • garlic powder optional steak marinade
  • pepper optional steak marinade

Morel ingredients

  • morels lots of them
  • 1 lb real butter Margarine not acceptable

Side Dishes

  • 4-5 large locally grown potatoes
  • fresh leeks
  • fresh asparagus locally grown

Instructions
 

Steak cooking

  • Grill 16 oz., high-quality steak (e.g., porterhouse or better): 2 minutes on one side, 2 minutes on the other. (Soy sauce, garlic powder and pepper marinade optional).
    Done. Yes, xxx-rare IS the best steak you can get.
    No A1 or other atrocities allowed.
    Must use charcoal-fueled grill, no electric contraptions or range top cooking will do.
  • Sauté cleaned and lengthwise-sliced morels in large skillet with copious amounts of "real" butter. Margarine not acceptable. Only the real deal for this five-star meal. Sauté for a good 8-10 minutes. Save the juice to splash over the steak later.
  • In a separate pan, sauté those wonderful wild leeks (sliced) you found alongside your morel harvest using more "real" butter and a couple sprinkles of sugar to caramelize them. It's phenomenal. Trust me.
  • Steam fresh, springtime, locally grown asparagus for approximately 6 minutes or until bright green - do NOT overcook, lest they turn to mush. Top with (you guessed it) "real" butter.
  • Boil locally grown potatoes for 10-15 minutes (skins on), mash in mixing bowl with 1/2 & 1/2, MORE "real" butter, sour cream, a sprinkle of garlic powder, pepper and a handful of your remaining stock of wild leeks (minced). Whip using hand blender.
  • Place you glorious steak on your finest shroon-eatin' plate (I use one I painted myself and had glazed and fired). Don't forget to splash on some of that residual shroon juice.
  • Scatter the luscious morels and leeks all over the top of the steak. Don't be shy. Stack 'em high.
  • Gingerly and neatly position the scrumptious asparagus next to the steak (I prefer that all the heads point in the same direction and to stack them like Lincoln logs -- I know, I need help.
  • Place a healthy-sized dollop of mashed potatoes between the steak and asparagus. No gravy allowed (kills the taste sensation of the morels) -- besides, they're spectacular just as they are, using this recipe.
  • Devour the entire ordeal (using salt at your discretion or, in my case, with little-to-no discretion), chasing with an ice-cold beer; collapse in a heap for 8-12 hours; load up your mesh onion bags; and head out again the next day for a repeat!!!

Notes

PS - In order to hunt successfully the next day, you must snap your walking stick in half and toss it into the woods as you leave as a sacrifice to the Mushroom Gods of the Woods. Otherwise you'll get skunked the next day. Trust me, they're watching you.
 
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