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return of the king

Recipe: porcini mushroom gruyère burgers

My good friend, Erin, is a native of Colorado, and yet she had never been to Crested Butte before. So we invited her out to spend the weekend with us hiking, eating, and even meeting some of my entertaining nature photog pals (who were here for the wildflowers). It’s the height of the wildflower bloom, so the hikes were especially beautiful this time of year.

erin jumping for joy on beckwith pass

erin for scale next to a green gentian stalk

close up of the green gentian flowers

a windy evening at the mountain

On Sunday, we did a 13-mile hike up to the high country. The pattern of summer monsoon storms has started in the last week and we’ve been getting some really productive rainstorms in the last few days each afternoon. At a trail junction around 11,000 ft. we paused to let a trail runner pass us. She chatted with us briefly about the trails and continued on. Just then, I spotted something familiar at the base of a tree… It was a mushroom, but not any mushroom – it was a Boletus edulis or King bolete or porcini. Wendy and I have been discussing when our local porcinis would flush this season for the past two months. I had no idea I’d find one in the wilderness outside of Crested Butte! [Note: DO NOT forage for mushrooms unless you are with or ARE a trained expert. Eating the wrong mushrooms can make you very ill or even kill you.]

erin models the porcini on the trail

How timely to find my first porcini of the season because I have a recipe I’ve been waiting to post since last year’s porcini season ended. Most of the year, if you are eating porcini, it has been dried and rehydrated. But during this magical period in summer when the rains come and the mushrooms flush, you can enjoy fresh porcinis. I had them with burgers.

little bouchons

butter, white wine, gruyere, porcinis, ground beef, brioche buns

Of course, I realize not everyone is able to source fresh porcini mushrooms and you are perfectly welcome to substitute any other fresh mushroom variety, but if you can get porcinis, it is worth it.

make the patties and slice up the mushrooms

sauté the mushrooms in butter and add white wine

reduce the wine until the liquid is gone

Timing-wise, I think it’s best to sauté the mushrooms first and then grill the burgers. For me, it’s more important to have a hot juicy burger. However, if you have exquisite multi-tasking abilities or you can wrangle some help – then cook them simultaneously. The assembly is as simple or complicated as you want it to be. I like a simple layer of lettuce with my burger and mushrooms.

grilling the burgers

add mushrooms to the burger

and you’re good to go!

Porcinis have a delicate flavor and I worried that the beef and the Gruyère might overpower them, but the mushrooms held their own. Their meaty texture works incredibly well in a burger. And if you’re vegetarian, then skip the patty and load up on more porcini mushrooms. I’m so excited for the porcini season to start!

all hail the king (bolete)!

Porcini Mushroom Gruyère Burgers
[print recipe]

2-3 oz. butter, unsalted
8-12 oz. fresh porcini mushrooms, sliced 1/4-inch thick
salt to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 tsp fish sauce
freshly ground black pepper
4 slices Gruyère cheese
4 hamburger buns

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the porcini mushrooms and let sear until golden brown on the bottoms. This should take about 3 minutes. Flip the mushrooms and sear the other sides until golden. Add a sprinkle of salt and pour in the white wine. Let the liquid boil until it is gone. Turn off the heat and set the mushrooms aside. Place the ground beef, fish sauce, and ground black pepper in a large bowl and mix until combined. Form four hamburger patties (a little thinner in the middle). Grill the burgers on high heat for 3-4 minutes. Flip the burgers over and place a slice of Gruyère cheese on each patty. Grill another 3-4 minutes (depending on desired doneness). Place lettuce on a hamburger bun, then top with a hamburger, and finish with several slices of mushrooms. Serve hot. Makes 4.

more goodness from the use real butter archives

porcini pizza fresh porcini mushroom pasta porcini mushroom tempura sushi handroll italian-style beef and porcini stew

18 nibbles at “return of the king”

  1. Rosa says:

    That gourmet burger looks terrific! Wow, I wish I’d find such big porcinis while walking in the countryside…



  2. Porcino says:

    “porcino” = singular
    “porcini” = plural

    Those burgers look yummy! I love putting mushrooms on my burgers! YUM! Great photos!

  3. Katie says:

    Ok, those burger buns look amazing – please tell me you have a recipe for those as well?

  4. Kristin says:

    Did you say mushrooms & gruyere?! Darn it…I just took my burger-loving son to STEM camp yesterday! He might get a treat when we bring him home! YUM!

  5. Rocky Mountain Woman says:

    oh my, that looks absolutely wonderful…

    great combo, gruyere is one of my all time favorites on a burger…

  6. Annie Slocum says:

    LOVE that you are in CB-the paradise of CO!!

  7. Lisa Huff @ Snappy Gourmet says:

    Just ran across this on FoodGawker and I think I just drooled a little on my computer! :) Looks so good!

  8. JB & Renee says:

    Beautiful post! The burger and porcini look amazing. You guys are really lucky to live in a place as beautiful as that. :)

  9. marissa says:

    Unreal! Risotto, buckwheat crepes, soup, raw w shave parm w lemon …. All in your future. You are one lucky lady.

  10. angelitacarmelita says:

    oh how I wish I had a fresh porcino right now (thank you porcino for the correct pronunciation lesson), and how beautiful these photos are Jen! If I happen to find any at Whole Paycheck, I’ll be sure to pick one up and make this burger (I do say one, because sadly I live alone, and luckily, I’d only need one!)

  11. Kathryn Swanson says:

    Oh boy will my husband John love this one!

  12. Sophie says:

    I am solidly envious of your porcini-mushroom find. How delicious does this look! Mushroom burger, yes please. Even if it’s with plain-old supermarket buttons — it’s happening!

  13. Pey-Lih says:

    Wow! Those mushrooms are huge! The burgers look great!

  14. Abbe@This is How I Cook says:

    You are right. I have only had dried porcinis and never fresh. I love the dried but would love to try the fresh. I thought I would have to fly to Italy in my quest for fresh, so it is good to know that 13 miles in the right place will do it!

  15. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence says:

    Oh my. I had my first porcini last year. It really is a thing of beauty. So jelz you -found- one of these guys while hiking :P

  16. jenyu says:

    Rosa – I imagine I passed several in the last 7 years before I knew how to identify them!

    Porcino – thanks, we just call them porcini :)

    Katie – I don’t (they came from Whole Foods). But if you find a good one, let me know!

    Kristin – isn’t that a great combo?!

    Rocky Mountain Woman – mine too!!

    Annie Slocum – indeed!!

    Lisa Huff – ha ha :)

    JB & Renee – thanks!

    marissa – hopefully we’ll continue to find more. Keeping fingers crossed :)

    angelitacarmelita – I have never seen them at WF, but if you find one, I hope you enjoy it!)

    Kathryn Swanson – :)

    Sophie – use the cremini mushrooms, they have better flavor than white button shrooms and are now readily available at most markets.

    Pey-Lih – thanks!

    Abbe – the fresh is so totally different (subtle, but a wonderfully meaty texture). They grow in Colorado and California (and probably other places, although I don’t know which).

    Brandon – :) xo

  17. Mrs Ergül says:

    Yum yum! Simply but beautifully constructed burger!

  18. Eric Florea says:

    Best looking little burgers ever! :)

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