Yield: Yields 2 to 2-1/2 cups.
Soak the porcini in 1-1/2 cups very hot water, stirring occasionally, until they’re rehydrated, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a cutting board and chop coarsely. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter into a small bowl and set aside.
In a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cremini and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, 5 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring more frequently, until the mushrooms are shrunken and very well browned, 8 to 10 minutes more.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and cook, stirring, until the shallots are softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Marsala, thyme, porcini, and 1/4 cup porcini-soaking liquid (reserve the remaining soaking liquid if making ahead). Cook and stir until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook until reduced to a saucy consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make Ahead Tips
You can make and refrigerate the ragoût up to 2 days ahead. Just before serving, reheat it in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 or 2 Tbs. of the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and 1 or 2 Tbs. heavy cream, letting both reduce slightly until the ragoût is just loose and saucy enough to spoon around the tenderloin. Stir in the parsley.
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I have served this to many many guests and several have called it the best meal they ever ate. I hunt and dry morel mushrooms and I used them in addition to or in place of the porcini. I normally go heavy on the dried mushrooms, use chicken stock instead of water, and I add all the reserved chicken stock to the ragout. There is just too much flavor there to let it go to waste.
This recipe - and the whole menu for that matter - is so fantastic and easy (but don't tell your guests that part). For the lactose intolerant out there - try using coconut cream instead of heavy cream in the recipe - you will get the same richness without the dose of dairy.
Absolutely delicious with beef tenderloin! Easy to make and so convenient to be able to make it the day before! Heats up wonderfully.
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