Morel mushrooms have a rich, creamy, earthy, and nutty flavor that some say tastes likes steak. It is only natural then to use them as an ingredient for a rich and creamy steak sauce such as the one made in this recipe by Orient Express. In this recipe, the beef is prepared as simple as possible, seared and then cooked in the oven with little or no seasoning. It is then accompanied with a flavorful garnish including tomatoes stuffed with shiitake mushrooms, chips of oven-cooked potatoes, and a fan of baked snow peas. Morel mushroom sauce flavored with Beaumes de Venise wine and cooked with cream is poured over the beef for an exquisite finish.
To complete this dish, first you need to make three kinds of garnish: the stuffed tomatoes, the potato corolla, and the fan of snow peas. All of the garnishes must be prepared before cooking the beef. Shiitake mushrooms are used to stuff the tomatoes; use fresh shiitake mushrooms for excellent flavor. Shiitake has smoky and rich flavor that will complement the morel sauce. Like morel mushrooms, they also have a meaty and exotic taste that many find quite addictive. If you’re not a fan of shiitake, you can also use other kinds of mushrooms depending on the season. The chef suggests chanterelle, which has a great aroma and hints of apricot flavor. Another kind of mushroom that will work excellently for this dish is horn-of-plenty. Also known as black trumpet or trumpet of the dead, horn-of-plenty is a dark flavorful mushroom that when dried develops a taste similar to black truffles.
Beaumes de Venise is used in this recipe to flavor the morel mushroom sauce. This is a sweet fortified wine with a floral aroma made in the Rhone Valley sold under the designation Muscat de Beaumes. “Beaumes” comes from the Provencal word “balma,” which means “grotto” or “cave.” If you can’t find this type of wine, you can also use other Muscat wines (made of Muscat grapes).