What is a Duxelle?

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What is a Duxelle?
Duxelle or Duxelles is a culinary mix of mushrooms, shallots, and onions which are sautéed together. This culinary mix is typically used as filling for pastries, as stuffing for some food items, as an addition to sauces and dips, and as food garnish.

Usually mushroom tops are the ones chopped and used for this culinary mixture, but mushrooms stems may also be included in the mix. Some chefs also add some herbs to enhance the flavor of the mixture. Butter is also used in sautéing the mixture but other cooking oils may also be used. The mixture of all ingredients will then be reduced to a paste form and this can now be used for sauces, garnishes, fillings, and stuffings.

It is also said that some mushroom varieties make for a stronger Duxelles flavor. Usually fresh mushrooms are chopped and used for sautéing, but if these are not available, dried mushrooms will do the trick. Mushrooms of the porcini variety is also said to be strong on the flavor when compared with the more generic brown and white mushrooms.

Aside from its use as garnish, or filling and stuffing, Duxelles can also be used to make pastry tarts. Some people also use it as a spread for a variety of breads. Duxelles is also a popular alternative to pate de foie gras in making the recipe “Beef Wellington”. In this particular dish, instead of foie gras spread on the beef before wrapping with pastry, duxelles may be used.

Some people also use duxelles to fill certain pastas like ravioli. It can also serve as filling for dumpling-like dishes. Some also like to have duxelles mixed with eggs to form an omelet. But for those not yet accustomed to its strong flavor and taste, it may be best to first try duxelles as a sauce, dip, or spread. A variety of meat dishes can take advantage of duxelles as a sauce or dip. Many people also like the idea of spreading duxelles onto grilled pieces of meat.

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