Ren Faire Mushrooms

At the Bristol Renaissance Faire, which we attended faithfully every year for many years, there was a vendor who sold the most delicious mushrooms. One of the super cool things about this particular vendor was that he was happy to share his recipe with anybody who wanted it. Here’s how he made them:


2 pounds mushrooms, whole
2 cups onion, very coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons minced garlic
½ cup white wine


Lightly rinse the mushrooms or clean them with a paper towel. Then place the mushrooms in a bowl and add enough water to just cover them. (Since the mushrooms float, I usually put a plate over them to weigh them down and keep them under the water.)

Soak the mushrooms 8 hours (overnight is good).

Place the mushrooms and water into a crock pot and set it on low heat.

Melt the butter in a pan over low heat. Add the onions and sautee over medium heat. Cook the onions just until they are separated and start to soften. Do not brown or caramelize the onions.

Add the onions, garlic, salt, and white wine to the crock pot and stir.

Continue to cook on low heat for about 6 hours, or until mushrooms are soft.

Note: I know that it seems like this recipe has a lot of salt. If you’re like me, you tend to routinely leave the salt out of recipes or reduce it. Don’t do that in this recipe. I found that if you don’t salt the mushrooms adequately while they’re cooking, you’ll end up adding about twice as much salt later to get the same flavor.

6 thoughts on “Ren Faire Mushrooms

  1. Jacqui

    Is this really THE recipe for THE Ren Faire Mushrooms?! My husband and I love the Ren Faire. He hated mushrooms until he tried these. I’ve been searching for the recipe ever since — silly I never thought to ask the actual guy at the stand. I never would have though of this method — I figured more garlic, and adding beef broth, and I didn’t event think of using a slow cooker. Do you know why he soaks the mushrooms? I’ll definitely be trying this soon. Thank you!

    1. Paul Post author

      It actually does come out surprisingly close. I’m sure that cooking in a huge kettle over a wood fire makes a difference, and of course, you can’t match the ambience of the Ren Faire. 🙂

      As to garlic, I’d call my recipe a minimum. Feel free to add as much as you want — it would be pretty hard to mess things up by adding more garlic.

      You can get away without pre-soaking the mushrooms, but if you skip that step you’ll need to cook them for much longer to get them nice and tender. The overall time will be reduced, but your energy expenditure will be higher. So just decide how green you want to be.

    1. Paul Post author

      I’m honestly not sure, but from what I’ve read regarding canning, I believe you’d need to pressure can this recipe as it’s not acidic.


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